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Ashton, Idaho 

Glade Lyon 

Waking Lion Press 



The Centennial History 

This account of the first one hundred years of Ashton, Idaho, and surrounding communities is dedicated to those 
intrepid immigrants who left their homes in the eastern United States, Europe, or elsewhere to search for a better 
place to live and found it in 1906 in the beauty of what is now Fremont County. 

Previous page: Ashton's bustling main street (looking east), about 191 7. The building under the "E" in "Glade" is the Odd Fellows Building. The 
building under the "H" in "Ashton" is the Cannon Building, which is no longer standing but most recently housed the Ashton IGA store. 

The views expressed in this book are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of The Editorium. The reader alone is 
responsible for the use of any ideas or information provided by this book, which may contain errors, omissions, and discrepancies. The author did the best 
he could with the information available. 

ISBN 1-60096-376-5 

Copyright © 2006 by Katherine Mearl Lyon. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. 

Published by Waking Lion Press, an imprint of The Editorium 

Waking Lion Press™ , the Waking Lion Press logo, and The Editorium™ are trademarks of The Editorium, LLC 

The Editorium, LLC 

West Valley City, UT 84128-3917 


Foreword vii 

Preface ix 

Life before Ashton: 1905 xi 

1 In the Beginning 1 

2 Businesses 10 

3 Infrastructure 51 

4 Churches and Organizations 60 

5 Recreation 75 

6 Education 91 

7 Neighboring Areas and Communities 97 

8 Distinguished Citizens 117 
Photo Gallery 123 
Acknowledgments 143 
Index 145 


I would not have taken on this job for just anyone. 
When the Ashton Centennial Committee was looking 
for volunteers to write a book about Ashton's history 
over a year ago, I firmly declined. I knew it would be 
a time-consuming ordeal, and I wanted no part of it. 

My father, Glade Lyon, on the other hand, was per- 
fect for it. As a retired octogenarian who loved to red- 
line newspaper articles and send them back to the edi- 
tor, and with a sharp mind for historical detail and sto- 
ries, he took on the task with gusto. Even as his physical 
health failed, he worked on the book daily. Or I should 
say nightly. He always said the two hardest things to 
do in life were going to bed and getting up. He liked 
to work on his computer until two or three nearly ev- 
ery morning, writing, reading, pondering, and making 
notes to himself. He died early in the morning of Octo- 
ber 10, 2005, sitting at his computer, writing this book. 

I have been a bit upset with him ever since. Sud- 
denly I got the job of finishing this book by default. I in- 
herited a bramble of scribblings and partially finished 
chapters, and a pile of papers and books that I'm sure 
he borrowed from someone. My brother, Jack, is a pub- 
lisher by trade and said he could handle that part of it, 
but after all, I am an English teacher; I should be able 
to whip out this book in no time. 

This book was a labor of love to my dad. To me it was 
just labor, but I did it because I love my dad. In spite of 
good intentions, the information is incomplete and, at 
times, possibly incorrect. I know there are holes; I just 
hope people don't hurt themselves when they fall into 

Suzanne Hamilton 
Glade's oldest daughter 



Many of the names, dates, and locations given in 
this book are unable to be verified. That is, different 
sources and reference books sometimes give different 
dates for the same event, names are sometimes spelled 
in different ways, and the location of some businesses 
is unknown. Where a discrepancy has been found, the 
most likely, in the view of the author, has been used. As 
reporter Bob Woodward once said, this is "the best ob- 
tainable version of the truth." Much information about 
Ashton's history is simply unavailable. 

I have used my best efforts in collecting and prepar- 
ing the information published herein. However, I do 
not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability 
for any loss, damage, or offense caused by errors, omis- 
sions, or inclusions, whether such errors, omissions, or 

inclusions resulted from negligence, accident, or other 

Glade Lyon 

[Publisher's note: This book started as a sort of 
"walk down Ashton's Main Street," with a history of 
the businesses that had occupied each building, but 
it quickly expanded to include much more informa- 
tion. The book was left unfinished at the death of Glade 
Lyon on October 10, 2005. His children Jack Lyon and 
Suzanne Hamilton have done their best to complete 
the project, with invaluable help from Neal Wickham 
and Jane Daniels, who deserve special mention and 


Life before Ashton: 1 905 

This is the way life was the year before Ashton began: 

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years. 

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bath- 

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. 

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 
miles of paved roads. 

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 
miles per hour. 

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour. 

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and 
$400 per year. 

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 
per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian be- 
tween $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical en- 
gineer about $5,000 per year. 

Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no col- 
lege education. Instead, they attended medical schools, 
many of which were condemned in the press and by the 
government as "substandard." 

Sugar cost 4 cents a pound. 

Eggs were 14 cents a dozen. 

Coffee was 15 cents a pound. 

The American flag had 45 stars. 

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't 
been invented. 

Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write. 

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from 
high school. 

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available 
over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one 
pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoy- 
ancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, 
and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." 

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S had at 
least one full-time servant or domestic. 

There were only about 230 reported murders in the 
entire U.S. 


Chapter 1 

In the Beginning 

Ashton's beginnings can be traced to the Homestead 
Act, passed by Congress May 20, 1862, and signed into 
law by Abraham Lincoln. The act provided for "any citi- 
zen of the U.S. who was the head of the family or over 21 
years of age to file on 160 acres of unappropriated land 
and to acquire title to the same, by residing upon and 
cultivating it for five years and by paying such fee as 
was necessary for administration." "Proving up on the 
homestead" was a common term used by those meet- 
ing the requirements and getting title to land. 

Although land came free to the settlers, much labor 
was still required to establish homes, farms, and even- 
tually communities. There were no roads or bridges — 
only the tall sagebrush. To clear the land, horses were 
hitched to large chains, and these were pulled through 

the sage. Then hand hoeing was required to clean 
up the remaining vegetation. The ground had to be 
plowed twice to prepare the soil for planting. The grain 
was broadcast by hand and harrowed in with harrows 
made from poles. As fast as the land was cleared, canals 
and ditches were dug to bring water. Wheat, barley, 
oats and corn were the first small grain crops planted. 
Every farm needed these grains at home for food for 
themselves and their livestock. 

Threshing machines were costly, so farmers joined 
forces to acquire them. Several farmers united teams 
and equipment, going from farm to farm to complete 
each harvest in one operation. This group became 
known as the "threshers," and their annual coming was 
a big occasion. The women prepared large feasts for 

In the Beginning 

them, supplying three meals plus treats throughout the 
day, as they started early and worked long after dark. 

Earliest Settlements 

Early settlers came to the Henry's Fork of the Snake 
River, north of Fall River, establishing settlements 
and communities around what would later be Ash- 
ton. There were at least 20 of them: Drummond, Far- 
num, Franz, Grainville, Greentimber, Harris, Highland, 
Horseshoe Flats, Hugginsville (Svea Falls), Lamont, Lil- 
lian, Lodi, Marysville, New Hope, Ora, Rice, Sarilda, 
Sand Creek, Upper Sand Creek, and Vernon. The first 
settlers were Joe and Mary Weaver Baker and their chil- 
dren, who came in 1889 to the springs — still called 
Baker Springs — about a mile north of Ashton. Mary was 
the postmistress and had the post office in her home 
until Marysville was started and the post office was 
moved there, but with Mary still as postmistress. 

The first post-office building in the area was built at 
Lodi by John L. Dorcheus at Dorcheus Springs, about 
a mile and a quarter north and a quarter-mile west of 
present-day Ashton, with Mary Dorcheus, who came 
in 1893, as postmistress. Ed Dorcheus, Mary's father, 
bought the homestead of Mr. Shepard, and the post of- 
fice and a four-room school building were built there 
at Lodi. Mr. Shepard taught at Lodi in the winter and 
Sarilda in the summer. Mail was delivered from Market 
Lake to St. Anthony in 1906 and on to Lodi. 

Mary Weaver Baker, looking decidely unhappy about having her 
picture taken. The dress, jewelry, and corsage indicate that she had 
dressed in her finest for what was probably a special occasion. 

In the Beginning 

Food was scarce, but Joe Baker's daughter Maude said, 
"There was plenty of wild game and good fishing for fish so fat 
they fried themselves." 


The first immigrants immediately realized the need 
for water to irrigate their crops and began digging 
canals as soon as possible. Digging those canals with 
horse-drawn slip scrapers was extremely difficult and 
sometimes required the use of dynamite or black pow- 
der to get through the lava rock. In some cases, ham- 
mers and chisels were used to cut away the banks, with 
"blood, sweat, and tears." They hauled their culinary 
water in 50-gallon drums on a wagon. The problems 
they encountered are almost beyond comprehension 

The Brady Canal was started in 1889 by James H. 
Brady under the Carey Act, which Congress passed in 
1894. When he was elected governor of Idaho in 1908, 
he sold his interest, and the name was changed to The 
Marysvale Irrigation Canal, sometimes known as the 
Marysville Canal and Improvement Co., Limited. 

The Farmers Own Ditch Company was incorporated 
in March 1896. The most difficult part was building the 
7-foot-high, 154-foot- wide dam just above the Kirkham 

Bridge on Fall River. The first three miles of the canal 
were hewn out of rock and a hard cement formation 
with picks and shovels, hand drilling, and blasting. Wa- 
ter first reached the lower end of the south lateral in 

The Yellowstone Canal's first filing was in 1904 and 
was designed to take the water from Fall River just be- 
low the mouth of Boone Creek. Gottfried Reimann took 
the contract and was paid $1.50 per day for a man and 
a horse, half in cash and half in stock. 

In 1898 the Green Timber Ditch was started with 
the head at Sheep Falls on Fall River. The farmers had 
disagreements, so they split up, and the Yellowstone 
Power & Irrigation, Ltd. was formed in 1902. The ditch 
was completed in 1907 but usually had only a small 
stream of water. It was reorganized in 1938. 

The Conant Creek Canal was laid out in 1896 for 
Horseshoe Flats, later known as Mountain Dell. They 
originally planned to build a canal ten feet wide and 
three feet deep, so they filed on 30 feet of water, not 
realizing what a small amount that was, but then lost 
their opportunity to increase that filing. The water was 
taken from Conant Creek beginning at the area desig- 
nated Henry's Camp from the rocks found there with 
the names of Captain Henry and his party chiseled into 
them. Workers were paid $2.50 for a man and a team 
for ten hours, but there was no money, so payment was 
taken in stock in the canal company. Water was first 

In the Beginning 

turned into the ditch in 1903. There was always a camp 
of men and women to cook for them, and Tom and Brig 
Murdoch held pleasant evenings around the campfire 
with stories, songs, and music with their fiddle and gui- 

The first survey of possible railroad routes into the 
area now known as Ashton was in 1881 and was fol- 
lowed by settlers looking for good, fertile ground to 
homestead or just a new place to live. Many of them 
found just what they were looking for in the area north 
of Fall River and south of the Henry's Fork of the Snake 
River. One early immigrant, Acil S. Hawkes, described it 
as a prairie of waving grass where frequent fires would 
kill out the shrubbery and sagebrush, and the grass 
would then grow very quickly and to a considerable 
height. It was a beautiful place and an ideal range for 
stock. The snow seemed to drift more than it did in 
later years and would stay in drifts until late in the sum- 
mer. There was an abundance of game of all kinds. Elk, 
deer, and antelope were often seen in herds. Some of 
the settlers bought land and were able to pay their debt 
off after their first year because of the bumper crops 
grown in the rich virgin soil. 

The Founding of Ashton 

According to historian Thornton Waite of Idaho 
Falls, 640 acres of land were purchased in 1904 for 
about $40 per acre for the townsite of Ashton from 

George Harrigfeld, J. E. McGavin, and Asa Hendricks 
by the Ashton Townsite Co., which consisted of 13 men. 
Most of the men were residents of nearby St. Anthony 
and included C. C. Moore and H. G. Fuller. They were 
instrumental in creating the township, which was be- 
gun February 14, 1906, when the first train stopped at 
the Ashton depot. Fremont County records give the ac- 
tual date of incorporation as July 11, 1906. 

Next page. Handwriting on the photo side of this RPPC (Real Photo 
Post Card) reads, "on the homestead in Idaho 1911." The postcard 
was purchased on eBay with four other RPPCs of the Ashton area, so 
all five came from the same source. One was addressed to Council 
Bluffs, Iowa, with an Ashton postmark of 11-6-1914. Most of the 
writing on the postcards is in Norwegian, and there are similar 
handwritten comments on the other RPPCs about the sender's life. 
However, since the photos are RPPCs, they are not photos of the 
actual sender's life, and the comments were probably made in jest. 
These five RPPCs were probably purchased in Ashton just before 
being mailed to relatives, since they depict scenes in the Ashton Area. 
The photo appears to have been taken in one of the watered canyons 
near Ashton, such as Fall River or Conant Creek or even the Henry's 
Fork. Comments on other photos indicate that the senders lived west 
of Ashton. The Upper Snake River Valley was rapidly homesteaded, 
and homesteading was mostly complete by the mid 1890s. The 
well- watered canyons were surely some of the first areas to be settled. 
This photo, judging from the sage, pines, and flat-bottomed canyon, 
is almost certainly in the Ashton area but is likely to have been taken 
in the mid to late 1890s. Whether the photo was taken in 1895 or in 
1911, it definitely depicts a typical homestead in the Ashton area. 

In the Beginning 

A newspaper dated January 3, 1906, reported that 
the details were completed for filing the articles of in- 
corporation of the Ashton Townsite Company. The fol- 
lowing were elected: Wm. Vanderveer, Pres., Geo. N. 
Swartz, Vice Pres., Lee S. Borrows, treasurer, Hiram. G. 
Fuller, secretary and other directors, including, C. C. 
Moore, C. P. Bartlett, and Wood D. Parker. Wm. Van- 
derveer died and was eulogized at the Fourth of July cel- 
ebration in 1906. The first council was elected in 1906 
with H. L. Cannon chairman, and H. G. Fuller, Jos. Mur- 
phy, M. Crouch, and Joe Mosser as board members. A 
meeting was held March 10, 1908, to choose the loca- 
tion of the new town. 

James Fuller invented the slogan "Keep your eye on Ashton" 
in July, 1906. Another slogan heard at that time was "Watch 
Ashton Grow." 

A letter dated 1956 from Mrs. Heber Hartvigsen, wife 
of Ashton's first newspaperman, contained the follow- 
ing information: The south side of Main Street, part of 
Ashton Townsite, was deeded from the State of Idaho in 
1900 to Chris and George Harrigfeld. There was also a 
part that had been homesteaded by James E. McGavin, 
patent granted in 1905, and sold to Moore and Fuller. 
The Harrigfelds' land was deeded to G. E. Bowerman 
in 1905 and later to Ashton Townsite Co. Horace Baker 

owned the north side of Main Street. He acquired it 
from his parents, who had homesteaded the land. 

Two of the people signing over their land were unaPle to write, 
but their "X" was duly witnessed. 

Louis Maurer mapped out the streets and alleys and 
made the original survey of Ashton. W J. King surveyed 
the sections for the townsite of Ashton and named the 
streets. Roy Drollinger is reported to have built the first 
house in Ashton. He was a chain man for the surveyors 
laying out Main Street in Ashton. 

The U.S. Census shows the population of Ashton as follows: 





















Hotel Ashton 

Steam Heat Thruout 

W. J. Haack. Proprietor 



OH j4&NT0rt 



3' 7 £. 

-4~^~- /*J~*—*»~-Ui 


Postcard from the Ashton Hotel, postmarked in Ashton in 1912. 

In the Beginning 

The Railroad 

William Ashton, chief engineer of the Oregon Short 
Line Railroad, surveyed the railroad line through the 
Ashton area and named the town after himself. 

The track-laying gangs, totaling as many as 1800 
men, were mostly Chinese and Japanese (six railroad 
cars under Pat Feeney) and Greeks (ten railroad cars 
under Chris Carson). They were paid two dollars for a 
twelve-hour day. Johnny Christofferson cooked for the 
blasting crews. 

The first train to stop at the Ashton depot site was on 
February 14, 1906. There was a huge celebration that 
included the opening of the Millers Bros. Elevator. Spe- 
cial trains brought in hundreds of people who helped 
celebrate with a non-stop dance and free refreshments 
furnished by the local bars. 

The Oregon Short Line began regular daily service 
to Ashton on March 29, 1906. In July 1906 the original 
tar-paper depot was torn down and a new depot built 
1.7 miles to the north at the site of Ashton. The new 24- 
by-40-foot Railroad depot was completed in 1907 and 
extended in 1921. In 1907 they built a section house, a 
bunkhouse, and three tool houses. In 1914 the railroad 
added a 14-by-24-foot freight house, a wooden water 

tank 24 feet in diameter by 16 feet high, a coaling sta- 
tion 24 feet in diameter and 19 feet high, a four- stall 
brick engine house 86 feet long, a 16-by-34-foot round 
house, a 13-by-42-foot sand house, and a 24-by-40-foot 
power house. 

R. D. "Bob" Jennings was reported to be the first sta- 
tion agent. He was probably followed by R. T Drollinger. 
In May 1906, Mr. Council was the Relief Agent. He was 
followed by agents Star Willis, John T (Jack) Lyon in 
1938, Ben Meese, Pard Dallas, Harvey P. Green, R. J. 
Davids, Darrell Waters, and LaMar Jones, who officially 
closed the office in 1992. John Christofferson handled 
the Railway Express for many years. 

On May 25, 1906, six Japanese workers who were dynamiting 
fish in the Snake River near Warm River tried to evade the 
Idaho State Fish and Game wardens by crossing the Snake 
River. Three of them, H. Ishii, S. Makita, and S, Matsu, were 
drowned. Two were buried in the southwest corner of the 
Pineview Cemetery, but the body of one was never 
recovered. The other three were apprehended. There was 
quite a controversy as to whether or not they should be 
punished for merely trying to get food. Their fate is unknown. 


■■^■RKT. ^Gawr ■**?;. JrTTT ^RTC 

Whooping it up at the round house, about 1910. 

Chapter 2 


The Early Days 

The first business building in Ashton was the of- 
fice of Moore and Fuller on the south side of the 500 
block of Main Street in business on February 22, 1906. 
Charles C. Moore and Hiram G. "Fess" Fuller, two of 
Ashton's founders, built a small frame building known 
as "The Old Townsite Building" and were operating a 
real- estate business and an insurance business there 
in February 1906. It was they who first platted the town 
and then sold lots to anyone who would buy. They were 
the sole agents for the sale of lots in the City of Ashton. 

Moore and Fuller sold all the lots along Main Street 
as fast as they Could, and the purchasers of those one 
190 lots are shown in the county records, but often- 
times the way they were used or what was built on 

them is not known. There were a number of early en- 
trepreneurs in Ashton. Harry Cannon ran one of the 
first stores, as did Dick and Dan Thomas. Hugh Perham 
built many of the first buildings. Bennie Woods opened 
the first restaurant. Burrell and Stone had a dry- goods 
establishment. J. A. Fulleton purchased a lot for a black- 
smith forge to open about March 1906. Also at that 
time, Chris Anderson bought another lot to enlarge his 
proposed building next to Fogg and Jacobs Lumber Co., 
and Amos W. Neeley bought property on Main for a 
drug business. The first builder in town was possibly 
Hugh Perham. 

Harry Cannon built a drug store near the Moore and 
Fuller office. He was not a pharmacist, so Dr. E. L. Har- 
gis filled prescriptions. Harry did a booming business 



in hard liquors. Ole A. Brothen, a pharmacist, came to 
work for Cannon and then bought the business, which 
he continued until the arrival of Gus Isenburg, who op- 
erated a drug store. 

Grant Lamport made arrangements for Peter Wil- 
son to build a butcher shop. Peter Wilson was com- 
pleting his boarding house on April 12, 1906. Local 
farmers formed Peoples' Saw Mill Co. in 1906 with J. 
T. Dorcheus, H. R Cunningham, and Peter Wilson plan- 
ning to start work in the spring. 

Johnny Sack, a short but colorful fellow famous for building the 
Johnny Sack cabin at Big Springs, was employed as a butcher 
at Stevens' meat market in Ashton when he first arrived in 
1909. He originally homesteaded in Island Park and built in 
1914. He built his custom home at Big Springs in 1929. Tourists 
can still tour it. He died in 1957. 

The Ashton Boarding House, operated by Wm. Zim- 
merman, proprietor; Bennie Woods; and a cook named 
Zimmerman also featured an early restaurant. They ad- 
vertised meals at all hours and claimed that "if the best 
way to reach a man is through his stomach, come in, 
and we will reach you." 

Pete Wilson started a lodging house in April 1906. 
Wilson Lodging House had 20 rooms but would allow 
customers to sleep on the floor if the beds were full. 

Murphy and Bartlett had a saloon that opened in 
April 1906. They installed a Chickering piano in their 
buffet with Professor Smith at the ivories. Another early 
saloon was built by Dick Humphrey. 

In July 1906 the Parker Livestock Commission put 
a new brick front on their building. O. M. Van Tassel 
opened a general merchandise store just east of the 
Parker Livestock Building. 

In 1910, only four years after its incorporation, the 
Ashton Business Directory listed the following: 

Ashton State Bank, F. X. Dolenty, Cashier. 

Security State Bank, W L. Robinson, Cashier. 

The Ashton Grocery J. E. Davis, Prop. 

The Cheap Cash Store, F. Freed, Prop. 

The Keller Implement Co., J. E Hobart, Mgr. 

Ashton Lumber and Hardware Co., R. H. Manning, 

J. C. Robertson and co., J. C. Robertson, Mgr. 

Studebaker Bros. R. C. Kirkbride, Mgr. 

St. Anthony Building and Mfg. Co., Abner Widdison, 

The Ashton Lumber Co., R. H. Manning, Mgr. 

The Ashton Cafe and Commercial Rooms, Thos. 
George, Prop. 

Boarding House, Mrs. J. E. Davis and Mrs. Wm. Zim- 
merman, Props. 

The Ashton Rooming House, Mrs. Victoria Peterson, 



Livery Stable, C. Nordvall; Livery Stable, F. Hulse. 

R. Marquardt, Jeweler; J. F. Wendell, Jeweler and Pho- 

The Ashton Plumbing and Electric Supply Co., Free- 
man Humes, Mgr. 

E. M. Varin, Plumber. 

Dr. E. L. Hargis, Physician. 

The Ashton Sanitarium, Dr. E. L. Hargis, Prop. 

The Teton Pharmacy Hoff and Brothen, Props. 

Dr. T. P. Carnes, D.D.S. 

Mrs. Alice Fosgreen, Milliner. 

The Ashton Enterprise, H. H. Hartvigsen, Editor and 

Blacksmith, Theodore Smith, C. L. Wessel, and J. Jud- 

The Independent Telephone Co., R. Marquardt, Mgr. 

The Bell Telephone Co., McKinley Mgr. 

The Chase Furniture Co., W. T. Gibson, Mf. 

Stephens and Stephens, meat. 

Electric Theater, Swanstrum, Humes, and Co., 

The Ashton Commercial Club, E. S. McCormick, Sec, 
W. L.Robinson, Treas. 

The Ashton Commercial Club Library and Free Read- 
ing Room, E. S. McCormick, Mgr. 

The Municipal Electric Light Plant; The Municipal 
Water Works; Wm. Locke and J. M. Anderson, Contrac- 

Frank Jondahl, Painter. 

Sheffield and Long Harness and Shoe Repair. 

Woods Brothers, Barbers. 

T M. Toohey Barber. 

Woods Bros, Pool and Billiards. 

H. C. Graves, Real Estate. 

Moore and Fuller, Real Estate. 

Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Mark White, Pas- 

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, H. B. 
Cunningham, Bishop. 

E A. Wilkie, Civil Engineer. 

Ashton Public School, E. S. McCormick, Supt. 

Ads in copies of the Ashton Herald from 1953 
showed Fremont Coop, City Drug, Zundel Jewelry, 
Chevrolet Garage, Ashton Motor (Jack Swager), Rex- 
all Drug (Klamt), Variety Store, Ess- Jay's (Story and 
Meese, mgrs.), Davis Motel, Western Auto (O. E. Rich), 
City Cleaners, (Leo Hammond), Utoco Service (Tony 
Maupin), Hart's Service, Coast to Coast (Neil Barkus), 
Chuck Wagon, Harris Mercantile, O. P. Skaggs, and the 
Ashton Herald. 

Ashton Herald ads from 1956 included City Drug, 
Jardine Jewelry (newcomer Grant Jardine), City Mar- 
ket (Tom Murdoch), Wynn's Hardware and Furniture, 
Tom's Chevron Station, Neifert Hotel (since 1932), Kiser 
Funeral Home (Lewis Kiser), Keith deStwolinski, Gar- 
rett Freightlines, Fall River Electric (since 1938), Robert 



Timmons Implement Co., Earl Equipment Co., Log 
Cabin Court (Dick Hummel), Rankin Motel and Ham- 
burger Haven (D. K. Rankin), Texaco Court (Jon Hoch), 
Lone Pine Motel (Nell Burral), Davis Motel (Lorenzo 
Davis), Hummel Motel (Jack Swager), Jack Harker (bulk 
Utoco), Boise Payette Lumber Co., Rodney Gilford and 
Paul Winger potato brokers, Stewart Agency, Ashton 
Theater, Union Pacific Railroad Co., Waugh's Black- 
smith (Claud Waugh), Clark's Barbershop (Jess and 
Dick Clark), Bear Gulch Ski Basin, Ashton Farm Bu- 
reau, Tony's Utoco (Tony Maupin), L. B. Lindsley Ma- 
chine Shop (Drummond), Joe Reiman (licensed electri- 
cal contractor), Murray Baum Produce, Lyon's (Glade 
Lyon), Fremont Co-op Supply, Coast to Coast Stores 
(Bud Trussell), Ashton Variety (Alyce Brady), Ott's Place, 
Reinke Grain Co., Globe Mills, Hemming Chevrolet 
Co. (Rulon & Eugene Hemming), Harris Supermarket, 
Yellowstone Grain Growers (Drummond), Lyd's Cafe, 
Howe Lumber Co. (Randall C. Howe), Burnt Bun (Mr. & 
Mrs. W. H. Ghormley), Thrift Store (Jack Rice), Ashton 
Theater (Harrigfelds), Imperial Club, O. P. Skaggs Sys- 
tem Stores, Neal's Wescott Service, City Cleaners, Ray's 
Tire Shop (Ray McBride), Western Auto (Euzene & Ger- 
ald Rich), Midland Elevators, Squirrel Store (Floyd Grif- 
fel), The Kelley Hotel (Marysville), Leo's Barber Shop 
(Leo Cordon), Harvey Schwendiman (fertilizer), Ashton 
Texaco Service (south highway), Blanche's Cafe, Utah 
Power & Light (Howard Larson), Ashton Hydro Plant 

(Fred S. Cowley super.), Story & Meese, George Baum 
(Drummond bulk Texaco). 

Landmark Buildings and Businesses on Ashton's 
Main Street 

Many of Ashton's first buildings are still standing, 
and many of them played important roles as the town 
matured. Other important structures have been built 
over the years as well. Using Fifth Street and Main 
Street as the hub of the town, we can examine some of 
Ashton's buildings and businesses. 

South Main Street 

West of Fifth Street, South side of Main Street 

The service station kitty- corner across the street was 
bulldozed down in 1977 along with the drayage build- 
ings to the south, and Valley Bank was built on that cor- 
ner. It later sold to Key Bank, managed by Dean Hoss- 
ner until he retired, and then by Linda Sheldon until 
1992 when she went to Bank of Idaho. In 2001 Elgie 
Tucker became manager of Key Bank until she trans- 
ferred to the Driggs branch and Donna Fisher took over. 
Bank of Idaho opened in Ashton in February 1997 on 
the southeast corner of sixth and Main, on the previous 
location of the Hemming Garage after it burned down. 
Blair Dance was manager until November 2002, when 
Linda Sheldon became manager. 


■ — » 



Previous page: Ashton's Main Street (looking east) in 1930. Here, the 
sign has been removed from the top of the Cannon Building, which is 
now being used as the "New- York Hotel" and advertises "Tourists' 
Supplies" and "Free Information." The Royal Cafe, previously on the 
north side of the street, has moved across the street to the south. Note 
the new Hotel Ashton. 

The Old Townsite Building, west of what is now Key 
Bank, was Accidentally destroyed in 1951 when Jim 
Harrell, who later became mayor of Ashton, attempted 
to move it — under cover of darkness because he did 
not have a moving permit. According to Jim, "It just fell 
apart." Moore and Fuller then built a new brick build- 
ing on that same location and later sold it to Herbert 
S. Stewart, who in 1957 sold to Jim Harrell, who op- 
erated his real- estate and insurance businesses there 
with John McFarland, Darren Kerbs, and Glade Lyon as 
real-estate salesmen. Harrell sold the insurance busi- 
ness to Robert Fisher in 1986 but retained an office 
there, operating as Harrell Realty until 2005. 

Ashton's change from wooden sidewalks and unpaved streets 
came in 1911 to 1912. 

The next building west was the Teton Pharmacy, es- 
tablished in 1906 by McLally and Neely, on the south 
side of the 400 block on Ashton's Main Street on a site 
generally known as the Dr. Krueger Building. Dr. E. L. 

Hargis owned the site for two days in 1908 and then 
sold it to A. O. (Ole) Brothen and Nills Hoff. Early Ma- 
sonic meetings were held on the second floor of this 
building. It is now occupied by Ashton Vet Clinic and 
other businesses. 

The Wanke Building housed a store, operated by a 
Mr. Fried, in the middle of the south side of the 400 
Block. It was later a cafe, owned by Mr. Humphrey 
but run by Chinese workers. It was primarily to serve 
the approximately 1,800 Chinese, Japanese, and Greeks 
working on the railroad in the Ashton area. The cooking 
area partially burned, and a new floor was built over the 
debris. After Randall Howe, proprietor of Howe Lum- 
ber Co., repaired the damage, he also built lumber stor- 
age sheds and later sold to Henry and Donna Griffel, 
owners of HG Lumber and Hardware, who demolished 
the store building and rebuilt, leaving a driveway be- 
tween the Medical Building and their new store. They 
found Chinese cups and other artifacts among the de- 
bris in the space under the old floor. These artifacts 
may still be seen at HG Lumber and Hardware. 

In the 1940s, the Ashton Post Office was housed in 
the Wanke Building with Felix Burgess as postmaster, 
who was followed by Thomas Hargis. The Ashton Her- 
ald, Carol Bessey, editor, was also housed in that build- 
ing in the 1970s. 

On the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Main 
Street was a lumber yard built and operated by E. 


W. Lupton for Boise Payette Lumber Co. Then Merrill 
Evans owned it during the 1960s. It became Stronks 
Lumber, which sold to Anderson Lumber, and then the 
business was bought back by Theodore Stronks and 
later by Teddy Stronks, Ashton's current mayor. 

East of Fifth Street, South side of Main Street 

The Cannon Building, one of the first buildings in 
Ashton, was built in 1906 on the southeast corner of 
Fifth and Main by Harry L. Cannon and Charlie Berry- 
man as a general merchandise store. It burned down 
in 1909 but was rebuilt to house the Burrall and Stone 
Grocery and Dry Goods. The Cannon Building was pur- 
chased in 1946 from C. L. Ashley by Otis Harris, who re- 
modeled the second story into an apartment and two 
rental rooms and built the cinder-block "meat house" 
across the alley to the south for processing meat and 
renting out frozen-food storage lockers. The top floor of 
the building was the living quarters of the Harris family, 
and the other apartments and rooms were rented out. 
He later sold the business and buildings in 1964 to Jim- 
mie Allison and Glade Lyon, who continued operating 
it as an IGA Store. 


Lyon sold his interest in the store to Allison in 1971, 
shortly before Allison was killed in a snowmobile race. 
Clair and Lynn Allison, Jimmie's brothers, ran the store 
until it burned to the ground in the 1980s. The meat 
house was purchased by Larry Hamilton for storage in 
the early 1980s, and at one time a portion of it was used 
by Dennis Jodoin, a seasonal forest- service employee, 
where he manufactured guitars and mandolins. It is 
now owned by Bob Comstock Sr. and used for storage 
and a workshop. 

Next page. The Cannon Building in Ashton Idaho at southest corner 
of Fifth and Main. The monument at the top of the building reads 
"Cannon Block" and "1906." The photo has to be within a year or two 
of construction. There is a wood-frame building to the left (east) that 
has been torn down in a 1908 photo and replaced by a masonry 
building by about 1 91 0. So this photo has to be before 1 908. It was 
most likely taken just after construction in 1906 or 1907. On the 
Windows is "Men & Boys, Women's & Children's, Furnishings, 
Clothing," "H. L. Cannon & Co., Dry Goods and Groceries," and 
"Dentist" (upper window). This later became the "Burrall & Schroll" 
store and later the IGA store. 

A human fixture in the IGA was Thede Holbrook, the produce 
man, who always had a smile for everyone. 



The building located immediately east of the Can- 
non Building on the 500 block and commonly known 
as the Imperial Club may have been built by Harry 
Cannon around January 20, 1906. It has had many oc- 
cupants, including a candy store run by Harold and 
Clara Strong, a clothing store, a hardware store, an im- 
plement shop, the Humphries Cafe, and a Spudnut 
(doughnuts made with potato flour) shop. 

The story is told thot a local gentleman was forced to spend 
the night playing poker at the Imperial Club because of a 
sudden blizzard. He didn't report whether he won or lost. 

Elmer "Humpy" Duke started the Imperial Club in 
1930. Cliff Moore managed it until 1942, when he be- 
gan working for Ott's Place. Gambling was declared ille- 
gal by the State of Idaho about 1950, and the gambling 
tables were moved to the basement, which was accessi- 
ble through a trap door at the south end of the building. 
The slot machines had to be disposed of. In 1942 War- 
ren Cordingley became a partner to Elmer Duke and 
was manager for several years. About 1960 Walter "Vic" 
Phillips bought Duke's interest and managed it until the 
early 1970s, when he sold to Harry and Beverly Wade 
and Kenderson and Mary Rankin. Harry Wade passed 
away and in 1983, and Kenderson sold the business, 

which he called "the love of my life," to Ken and Ber- 
netta Hanson. They later sold to Raymond Elliott. 

For many years, Wilbur Atchley made an annual St, Patrick's 
Day appearance in the Imperial Club on his green-painted 

The history of the buildings east of the Imperial Club 
requires some speculation. The first building east of the 
Imperial Club may have been the Paul Stone Grocery. 
However, it is also thought that Murray Baum may have 
used the lot as a car dealership. In 1960, Fred Brady 
set his daughter Allyce up in Ashton Variety Store on 
that lot. It was used as a Sears mail-order store in the 
late 1970s and is now part of Parts Service. The build- 
ing to the east of the variety store may have once been 
Blanche's Cafe and later a laundromat owned by Otis 
Harris and Don McCloud. It became The Flower Barn 
owned by Cheryl Lenz in the 1980s and, still later, an an- 
tique store operated by Doyle Phelps. After a brief stint 
as a day- care center, the building is currently empty. 

In 1925 the business known as the Teton Pharmacy 
was moved to the south side of the center of the 500 
block. In 1944, it was sold to Joe Klamt, who operated it 
as the Rexall Pharmacy with Roy Judd as manager and 
partner until 1967 when it was closed. This building 
became a Gambles Store owned by Albert Staub in the 



1980s, and it later housed Husky Pizza, owned by Ron 
and Barb Atchley It became Annie's Bakery and Piz- 
zaria, owned by Ann and Trent Phelps, in the 1990s. For 
a short time it housed a business named Box Canyon 
Outfitters. It is currently vacant. 

Joseph D. "Joe" Klamt brought his family to Ashton in 1 91 7 to 
join his Father, who had come two years earlier looking for 
work as a carpenter. He attended all four grades of high 
school in Ashton and graduated as valedictorian. He started 
working at the store in 1924. 

East of the Teton Pharmacy was a building owned by 
Morris Fried that was operated as a clothing store. Fried 
sold the store in 1929 to H. J. McCracken, who sold it 
to manager Enoch Hunt for Hunt's Department Store. 
Hunt always said, "I sell good goods." Hunt died in 1954. 
The store next became Story and Jackson, called "Ess- 
Jays" for short. Later it was purchased by Ben Meese 
and became Story and Meese; it was later taken over 
by Dick Pettit, Meese's son-in-law. In 1963 he sold it to 
Clair Chadwick, who started Chadwick's Dress and Dry 
Goods store. Mabel Phelps became manager in 1964 
after being North Fremont High School secretary for 
11 years. The business was then sold to Renee Stod- 
dard, who had been a clerk there, and her husband 
Jim. They changed the name of the store to Stoddard's. 

More recently it became the farm equipment and parts 
store of Jeff Jenkins. In the summer of 2006, the build- 
ing became the Arts Emporium as part of Ashton's cen- 
tennial celebration, run by Chan and Judith Atchley. Lo- 
cal artists and writers from around Ashton displayed 
and sold their work during a ten-day period in July. 

Lawrence Stone built the City Market Building, 
known earlier as "The Red and White Store," near the 
center of the south side of the 500 block. He later sold 
it to George Stone, who then leased it to Tom Murdoch, 
who operated it for many years. Tom later bought the 
building next door to the east, which had been the 
site of Freed's Ashton Cheap Cash Grocery, and put 
in rental frozen-food lockers. The Freed Building was 
probably the site of the "duck pin" bowling alley, pos- 
sibly owned by Carl Herre, that operated for a couple of 
years in the early 1940s. 

Every child could count on a free wiener from Uncle Tom 
when they came into his store 

Murdoch later closed his operation and became the 
butcher for the IGA store on the southwest corner 
of the block. His buildings may also have been the 
Western Auto Store owned and operated by Euzene 
Rich. They later became home to Alyce Brady's Ashton 
Variety Store in 1963 when she moved just a few doors 



east of her earlier location. That store closed in 1981, 
and for several years the building served as the Near- 
New Store, a community store that survived on dona- 
tions and raised money for the LDS building fund and 
other community causes. The building also housed the 
Ashton Public Library during the 1980s and later be- 
came home for the Ashton Senior Citizens' organiza- 

In July 1906, Dr. C.F.W. Marquardt bought property 
to construct the Marquardt Jewelry Store Building just 
west of Sixth and Main, next to the C.W. & M. He hired 
William Lalk to erect a building. His son, Rudolph Mar- 
quardt, hung a large clock-shaped sign in front of the 
business. At one time, Marquardt was granted permis- 
sion to move his building into the middle of Main Street 
while constructing a new one. 

The building had a succession of owners. Moore and 
Fuller acquired the building in 1908, Lee S. Borrows in 
1911, and Charles C. Moore later in 1911. Ellen Mar- 
quardt purchased it in 1928, Western Loan and Build- 
ing in 1934, Rudolph Marquardt in April 1935, and 
Carl Herre in May 1935. George P. Stone bought it in 
September 1935, Ida B. Stone in 1940, Chester French 
and Thomas Murdoch in 1944, J. D. Klamt in 1946, and 
again Thomas Murdoch later in 1946. Carl. C. Herre and 
Frances Herre purchased it in 1957 from Harry Wood- 
burn. Theodore O. Taylor operated Taylor's Cleaners 
there from 1953 until 1976. 

Ted Taylor came to Ashton with his family in 1909, He worked 
at Ashton Laundry and U S. Reclamation Service on Grassy 
Lake Dam. He was caretaker of Pineview Cemetery for several 
years and worked for ten years for Tri-State Lumber Co. After 
his retirement, he worked for the Senior Citizen Program of U.S. 
Forest Service from 1978 to 1984. He served as Ashton's fire 
chief for more than 30 years. He was also the first person from 
Ashton to be on the all-state football team. 

On the east corner of the south side of the 500 block 
was the C. W. & M Building, which housed the Con- 
solidated Wagon & Machine Store managed by Wm. 
Smuin. It sold farm equipment, hardware, and other 
necessities. When it went out of business, the build- 
ing was taken over by Con Peterson for a grocery store 
called O. P. Skaggs. After it burned in 1951 and was re- 
built, it had various owners and managers, including 
Jack Rice, J. C. Wangsgaard, Jack Coffin, DeVar Clark, 
Meredith Dexter, and Dennis Nichols. The C. W & M. 
Building was vacant until it was opened in the early 
2000s as a cafe, Musher's Eatery, by Michelle and Larry 
Lyford. That business was closed in 2005, and the build- 
ing remains vacant. 

The building on the southwest comer of the 600 
block was a garage built by Humes and Swanstrum, 
which they operated as a Fordson Tractor dealership. 
Delbert Taylor purchased it as a Chevrolet dealership 



about 1935, and in 1937 he sold the business to Darwin 
Taylor and Rulon Hemming. They operated a Chevro- 
let dealership there known as Taylor and Hemming 
Chevrolet. The business featured an office, a show- 
room, a parts room, rental spaces, and a mechanic's 
shop to the rear. Taylor and Hemming also owned a 
building on the east corner of the block that was used 
for a body shop. They often used the Opera House for 
storage space for their cars. There were two gasoline 
pumps out front where the gas was pumped by hand 
into glass containers calibrated into gallons on the top 
and then allowed to gravity flow into the customer's 
car for 25 cents a gallon. There was a hydraulic lift on 
the east side of the building. Rulon Hemming bought 
Darwin Taylor's share of the business in 1942 and op- 
erated it as Hemming Chevrolet Co. His son, Eugene 
Hemming, graduated from college about 1950 after re- 
turning from World War II and joined his father in the 
business. The building burned down about 1970, and 
in 1997 the Bank of Idaho purchased the lot and built a 
bank there. 

Someone, perhaps Rotary Club members, planted a small fir 
tree on that vacant corner and placed a whimsical sign there. 

The next lots, 5 and 6 east, were purchased in 1919 
with the intention of building a new Lodge Hall. That 
never materialized, and the lots were later sold for a 
new post-office building occupied recently by Dr. Toen- 
jes, a dentist, and currently by a new chiropractic cen- 
ter. An auto body repair shop owned by Darwin Hansen 
and later his son Darren follows next to the east. 

Thelma Wilson opened Thelma's Cafe on Main 
Street between the city fire station and the Ashton Farm 
Equipment Co. in July 1954. 

It is believed that John H. Hutchinson built a small 
cafe on the corner of Seventh and Main which was 
taken over before 1947 by Walter and Leora England, 



teachers from Burley who lived in a trailer behind the 
cafe. The newly opened Teacher's Inn was a small 
building with no tables and only six stools at the 
counter. Katie Lyon and Joyce Clark were waitresses 
there in 1948. 

Charlie Hartwig and his wife Leona purchased the 
business and named it "Charlie's Cafe," hiring Wanda 
Bates Hutchinson and Eva Calonge to work for them. 
Eva remembers dancing on the bar. Charlie was a large 
man and about 1960 helped push a car stuck in the 
snow; he had a heart attack and died. The property was 
sold to Fall River R.E.A., which added a warehouse and 
shop. Fall River moved to a new location south of town 
on Highway 20, and the property was acquired by the 
City of Ashton in about 1998 for the city offices and the 
Ashton Archives operated by Jane Daniels. 

Ashton Health Services, Inc., built the Ashton Medi- 
cal Clinic, designed by Dr. "Chris" Christensen, which 
had been constructed across the street to entice new 
doctors to come to the community. Ashton Health Ser- 
vices, Inc., was established in 1976 and dissolved in 
1980. In 1979, 12 of the acute-care beds in the hospi- 
tal were designated nursing-home beds. At the same 
time, the North Fremont Hospital Taxing District was 
formed to help both the hospital and the nursing home 
financially. There were many young doctors who came 
to Ashton to repay their debt to the federal govern- 
ment, incurred by their schooling, but none was willing 

to stay. There was a great deal of friction between the 
Ashton Hospital Board of Directors and the Health Ser- 
vices Board of Directors concerning the duties and obli- 
gations of the new doctors. The problems of spiraling 
costs for health care, the lack of consistent physician 
coverage, and the difficulty of getting proper Medicare 
reimbursement finally led to the closing of the Hospital 
in 1988 and the change to a nursing home. It was so suc- 
cessful that a new nursing home was built at 700 North 
Second Street, and the old hospital building was used 
as a public storage facility. 

The Ashton Medical Clinic is now in use as Ashton's 
primary medical care unit with Roxanna Holmes, PA., 
as the main health provider. 

North Main Street 

West from Fifth Street, North side of Main Street 

The Neifert Hotel Building on the northwest cor- 
ner of Main and Fifth streets started out as a lumber 
company. The Main Street lot and the lot behind it to 
the north were first purchased in June 1906 by Snake 
River Lumber Co., J. F. Tricks, manager. They built a 
storeroom, office, and lumber sheds on the Main Street 
lot with J. F. Trick as manager, and probably used the 
rear lot for lumber storage. The business was sold to 
Train Lumber and Coal Co. in May 1912. They sold in 



December 1915 to Boise Payette Lumber Co., and then 
it was transferred to Boise Payette, Inc. in August 1936. 

The Ashton State Bank moved to the original build- 
ing on the Main Street corner in January 1912, and 
then the First National Bank with G. E. Bowerman as 
president in April 1913. The U.S. Post Office Depart- 
ment acquired the property in November 1917 and es- 
tablished the post office there. Then in 1928, Mrs. H. 
D. "Sally" Neifert" acquired the property, and in 1932 
opened Neifert's Hotel, which was a landmark in Ash- 
ton for 40 years. Sally was brash and feisty but had a 
heart of gold. She often allowed transients to stay in 
the basement for free. "Banjo" Andy, so named because 
his right arm would not stay still, but said to be a violin 
virtuoso, was a regular who took care of the furnace in 
return for lodging. 

Louis Smith and Hugh Hammond bought the 
Neifert Building in 1971 but did not move their plumb- 
ing business there until 1975. Later Louis moved, and 
the business became Hammond Plumbing. Dan Whit- 
more bought the building and the business in January 
1994 and renamed it Dan's Plumbing and Heating. 

Dewey Hayes was once an Ashton plumber along with Hugh 
Hammond and Louis Smith, which meant that, at one time, 
our local plumbers were Hughie, Dewey, and Louie. 
Remember the Walt Disney ducks? 

Once when plumbers Hammond and Smith were trying to 
locate a water line east of the Opera House, they laughed 
and laughed when Glade Lyon asked them to use their 
witching wands. They had no idea what those funny-looking 
things hanging on their wall were. But they quit laughing when 
they located the water line by using them (See sidebar to 
Lyon's Store). 

H. L. Woodburn bought the rear lot in September 
1938 but sold it in March 1945 to Robert J. Timmons 
for his farm equipment store, Timmons Implement. 
Fremont Co-op Supply with Ron Richards as manager 
purchased it in November 1975. The business was later 
sold to Theone Maupin, who operated Maupin Auto 
Parts there until his death, when it was taken over by 
his son, Dan. 

Martin Elward bought the two lots just west of the 
Neifert Hotel in 1906. The Ott's Place building was con- 
structed in 1906 on the north side of the 400 block by 
Snake River Lumber Co. for Morris Fried's store. In the 
spring of 1926, William Frederich Harris and his son 
William Otis Harris purchased it as the H. and H. Bil- 
liard Parlor. When William Frederich Harris died in 
1935, Otis bought Harris's share of the business and 
named it Ott's Place. There were several pool tables, 
a couple of pinochle tables, and even slot machines 
when they were legal. Ott ran the business until 1942, 



when he sold it to Elmer "Humpy" Duke, who sold to 
Vic Phillips. In 1986 it was purchased by Dan Kent, who 
sold to Boyd Mauer, who later let it revert to Vic Phillips. 

A story is told thot once Sally Neifert opened the door of Ott's 
Place and hollered, "Harry, if you don't come home right now, 
I'm renting out your side of the bed." 

A building next to Ott's Place was a cafe, Elward's 
Buffet Resort, operated and heavily advertised by Mar- 
tin Elward. It was sold to Kraft, Sweeney, and Lamm in 
1907, then to Carolina Kraft. Mary Ellen Sweeney and 
Celia Lamm purchased it on September 18, 1909; then 
William Sweeney on June 1, 1910; J. W. Johnson on June 
3, 1911; William Sweeney again on July 12, 1911; and B. 
S. Christoffersen on May 17, 1913. B. M. Wood & Over- 
ton Bray bought it in 1919, but there is no indication 
whether or not any of the owners continued with a cafe 
there. It was later taken over by Laurel and Jackie Hunts- 
man before they moved to the lot west of the Odd Fel- 
lows Building. 

A tonsorial parlor (barber shop) was erected adjoin- 
ing Martin Elward's Buffet on April 12, 1906. This build- 
ing was at one time used by Glen Huntsman as a cafe, 
by Jess Clark as his barber shop, and later by Sam Moon 
for an office, where he tried to gather financial support 
for his aluminum mine. 

There is some confusion about the lots west of Ott's 
Place that are now occupied by a Cardtrol gasoline sales 
facility. It is believed that the two vacant lots are where 
Sally Neifert built her "Annex," with ceilings so low that 
nearly everyone had to duck. 

The buildings on the next three lots west had a long 
list of owners, including W D. Porch, Peter Wilson, Vic- 
toria Peterson, Victoria Whitaker, P. H. Whitaker, P. H. 
and Mrs. E. A. Whitaker, Victoria Whitaker Burnett, and 
First National Bank of St. Anthony. H. G. Fuller pur- 
chased it in December 1930 and sold it to the Burley 
Implement Co. the same month. Charles E McDonald 
purchased it in September 1938. These buildings were 
known as Fremont Coop Supply until 1944, when they 
were sold to Lloyd Compton for his garage. They were 
sold to Jack Swager in 1949; Frances Swager acquired 
title to them in 1956. He sold them to Robert Timmons 
in 1974, who then sold to Marvin Thomas in 1987 for 
Buck's Auto Repair. He later sold to Todd Howell and 
Bill Turner. 

The town continued to grow west of the railroad 
tracks. Block 33, just west of the tracks, was owned al- 
ternatively by Moore and Fuller, Fremont County, Mur- 
ray Baum, and Elma M. Davis, until lots 15 and 16 were 
purchased by Glynn Richard "Dick" Davis in 1946. He 
built Dick's Drive Inn, which was the place to go back 
then. Don Ghormley worked with him after Don got 
home from the service. In 1949 Dick sold to Elma M. 



Davis, who sold to Lorenzo Davis in 1961, so he owned 
the whole block. Lorenzo Davis first built a home on 
the west lots of block 33 and had cabins to rent. Omaha 
National Bank took over from Lorenzo Davis and sold 
to Ernest Harrigfeld in 1964 for a cafe and gift shop, 
which he named Trails Inn. He sold to Lowell Bishop 
in 1968, and his wife, Ruth, ran an "old Folk's Home." 
In 1977 they sold the south half of the block to John 
Cooper, who sold to Larry Daniel in 1979. Chris and 
Gail Womack bought it from Mr. and Mrs. Larry Daniel 
in 1980, opening the snack bar and game room again 
and using the front part of the building for a child-care 
center. They sold to Kenneth Allen and Richard Beesley 
in 1983. Don and Mary Chriswell bought lots 7 through 
10 of Block 33 in 1984 and immediately began an ex- 
tensive remodeling program, adding to Daniels' ham- 
burger stand to make Trails Inn Cafe, to which they 
added a dining room on the north in 2001. Their south- 
ern dining room has been continually used and has 
helped them meet community needs for 21 years. 

Tammy Kent and then Wade Lehmann bought lots 4, 
5, and 6 in 1996 behind the Trails Inn Cafe and built the 
Ashton Laundromat and a beauty shop. 

Continuing west, C. C. Moore and H. G. Fuller 
bought Blocks 31, 32, and 33 in 1920 from the Ashton 
Townsite Co. In 1933 Blocks 31 and 32 were deeded to 
the Ashton Golf Club, which had a golf course there un- 
til 1939. H. G. Fuller, and then the City of Ashton, held 

ownership in those blocks until 1951, when the city do- 
nated the land to Fremont School District 215 to build 
North Fremont High School there. 

In 1955, the State of Idaho purchased lots 6 and 7 of 
Block 32 for their National Guard facility. This building 
currently houses the Fremont School District 215 Bus 

East from Fifth Street, North side of Main Street 

From the corner east of Fifth Street and Main, the 
Ashton Hotel (whose official name was Hotel Ash- 
ton) was started by the Ashton Townsite Committee. 
The committee planned Main Street and donated for 
schools, churches, and the I.O.O.F. Hall. In March 1906 
the members voted to build a hotel to cost not less 
than $10,000. The Oregon Short Line Railroad crews 
hauled thirty-eight wagon loads of rock from a quarry 
north of Rankin's in May 1906 for the foundation, and 
the remainder of the building was red brick from John- 
son's Brickyard just north of Ashton or from Bonneru's 
Brickyard near Black Springs one mile south of Ashton. 
Hugh Rankin was the builder. 

The bar in the hotel basement was the place to go for "dime 
a dance" and "wide open gambling," especially during the 
Dog Derby. 



It is believed that the Ashton Townsite Committee 
planned to sell raffle tickets for the hotel at $150 each, 
and the lucky winner would get the hotel on its com- 
pletion. But the Idaho Legislature passed a law mak- 
ing lotteries illegal, so the comittee had to return the 
money and look for other methods of financing the 
hotel. An entry in the Ashton Townsite Committee's 
books in May 1907 shows that the hotel cost $14,499.44. 
The building was set back from the street, with several 
steps leading into the lobby. There was a veranda on 
the ground floor and a mezzanine on the second floor 
where dinners were served. There were also rooms that 
could be rented by the day as well as two- and three- 
room apartments with a shared bath. 

The writer, Glade Lyon, and his wife, Katie, rented one of the 
two-room apartments on the third floor of the Ashton Hotel in 
the 1940s, sharing a bathroom with Ivan and Mary Crouch. 

The hotel has had many managers, including Mort 
Anderson, W. J. Haack, Felix Burgeson, Kirkbride, Earl 
Barker, Charles Garside, and J. R. Atchley until it 
was closed in 1980. Included in the many businesses 
housed in the hotel were Ashton Barber Shop, Ball 
Barber Shop, Lajetta Glover Beauty Parlor, Melba 
Schaat Beauty Parlor, Security State Bank, Yellow- 
stone Banking Co., Idaho Bank of Commerce, Valley 

Bank, Yellowstone Cafe, Lyd's Cafe, Laurel's Cafe, 
Lane Marotz's Karate Studio, the Derby Club (owned 
by Royce V. Hilmer and William E. Hiattt Jr.), and, of 
course, the card-playing group on the mezzanine. 

The Ashton Hotel was purchased by Hugh Rankin 
in 1918. He later sold to Utah Home Mortgage Co. El- 
lis Pearce purchased it in 1933. Idaho Bank of Com- 
merce was a tenant from 1939. Mrs. Charles Garside 
purchased the building from Utah Mortgage in 1937, 
the same year that Mrs. C. T Williams moved her dress 
shop Williams' Smart Shop into the hotel lobby. 

The hotel was leased to Harry Gigley and the Conti- 
nental Hotel Association from 1942 to 1952 and then 
was leased only to the Continental Hotel Association 
from 1952 to 1959. In 1972, Mrs. Garside sold the entire 
building, including the 75-room hotel, Derby Club bar, 
and the buildings housing the Bank of Commerce and 
the Ashton Cafe to Earl Barker. 

Next page. The original Ashton Hotel, built about 1906 and destroyed 
by fire about 1920. According to Chan Atchley, in his book Soul of the 
Land: (left to right) standing in street, two unidentified women and 
Mrs. Jim Davis; standing on porch, "Dad" Clay, John Christofferson, 
Mrs. Felix Burgess, unknown man, Bruce Catlett, Mrs. Alvin Seeley 
Harvy Zhepp, Frank Carpenter, Dr. E. L. Hargis, and Ole Brothen; 
standing on stairs, EX. Dohlenty and H. G. "Fess" Fuller, who was 
Ashton's first mayor. 



The Ashton Cafe Building, just east of the hotel, also 
changed management many times. Pete Riley ran it 
in about 1920 as Yellowstone Cafe but changed the 
name to Lyd's Cafe when he married the world-famous 
dog sled racer "Whistlin" Lyd Hutchison. Even after 
her death he continued to run it with his second wife, 
"Chic." Later owners were Willard and Irv Elliott, Glen 
Huntsman, Laurel Huntsman, Butch Huntsman, and J. 
R. Atchley The building burned down, possibly in the 

There was a "pass through" opening between the cafe and 
the City Drug so the cafe could order a milkshake or the drug 
store could order a hamburger. 

About 1940 the Yellowstone Banking Co., a sub- 
sidiary of the Bank of Teton Valley located in Driggs, 
Idaho, with S. M. Meikle as president, was started in 
Ashton. It became Idaho Bank of Commerce, located 
in the southwest corner of the Ashton Hotel with J. 
H. VanDeusen as manager, with Dean Hossner becom- 
ing assistant manager about 1950. Royce Hilmer was 
assistant manager for several years until he was con- 
victed of embezzlement and served time in the state 
penitentiary. Gerald Rich was assistant manager from 
about 1956 to 1958. Dean Hossner advanced to man- 
ager in 1958 with Jim Holcomb as assistant manager 

about 1960 until 1977. Arlen Mortensen was manager 
for about two years in the early seventies. 

It was said that as a teller at Idaho Bank of Commerce, Roy 
Baker, gave out what the customer said was the wrong 
change. Roy answered, "We don't make mistakes." The 
customer then gave him a dime for coffee and said, "Have a 
good day," and Roy was $100 short that night. 

Paul Rushton, wearing a white Stetson and new bib overalls, 
walked into the First Security Bank with his partner, Gilbert 
Loveland, just before noon on April 17, 1930. He pointed a 
pistol at the teller and left with $375. The robbers ordered the 
two employees, Lloyd Hodge, assistant cashier, and Mickey 
Christofferson, clerk, into the vault. Even though the thieves 
neglected to lock them in, the bank employees were still 
unable to locate Rushton and Loveland. 

The building east of the Ashton Cafe, most com- 
monly known as the City Drug Building, was actually 
Ashton's first bank. Security State Bank opened early 
in 1906 with F. X. Dolenty as manager and cashier, and 
was first housed in the Moore and Fuller office building. 
Then Security State Bank rented a 10-by-30-foot space 
in the Enterprise Building while the City Drug Building 
was being built. The original vault is still visible and in 
use in the City Drug today. E. E. Petersen was president 



and William Robinson cashier. Fred Swanstrum, a well- 
known Ashton resident, came to Ashton in 1910 and 
worked at Security State Bank as cashier until 1915 un- 
der president R. I. Rankin. 




Phone 55 


POSTMASTER: This parcel moy be-opeiied for postal inipeiUonj.f jeccsscr 

Old shipping label from the City Drug. 

H. J. Hollingsworth owned the City Drug in the 1940s. 
The soda counter of that era is still in use. The busi- 
ness was a hub of many activities. Besides serving milk- 
shakes through an opening in the wall to the Ashton 
Cafe to the west, it served as the concession stand for 
the Star Theater next door to the east. There were big 
double doors into the theater from the City Drug. Katie 

Lyon, who worked at City Drug as a teenager, remem- 
bers that the store was also where people came to pay 
their water bills. The soda jerks took the money for the 
bills in exchange for a free movie ticket. Steve Durst ran, 
owned, and operated City Drug for many years. Bob 
Comstock purchased the business in the 1990s and has 
operated it with his wife Suzann ever since. 

The Star Theater was built by William Swanstrum 
and George Swartz. It was operated for 42 years, be- 
ginning in 1915, by Fred Swanstrum. Mrs. Enoch Hunt, 
whose husband owned Hunt's Department Store across 
the street, played the piano for the vaudeville shows 
that performed there. Once a week, the theater would 
have a big give-away night where patrons packed the 
theater in hopes of winning dishes, money or other 

Fred Swanstrum was a rather eccentric fellow. He once 
dressed up in a fur coat and sat near a fire in the middle of 
Ashton's Main Street in mid-July to give the tourists something 
to talk about. 

Dennis Gifford purchased the Star Theater from 
Willard Bonneru in 1959 with plans to make two apart- 
ments on the second floor and make a beauty shop out 
of the present ticket office. The building was sold to 
Jess Clark and his son Dick for Clark's Barbershop in 



the 1960s. Jess and his wife Ortella lived in an apart- 
ment above the shop. The business was sold in 2005 
to Billy Stronks. Ashton Beauty Shop also occupied the 
east corner of the building, currently under the propri- 
etorship of Connie Burrell. 

Ortella Clark, at 100 years old, is one of Ashton's oldest citizens. 
She resides at the Ashton Nursing Home. 

The Knudsen Building east of the old Star Theater, 
more commonly known as Lyon's Store, was originally 
built by L. M. "Pat" Hartvigsen and later became Knud- 
sen's grocery and general merchandise store, owned 
and operated by Niels Knudsen. After farming for 
three years, Hartvigsen formed a partnership with Neils 
Knudsen in the Ashton Cash Grocery. Knudsen joined 
the army in 1917, and the store was continued with L. 
M. "Pat" Hartvigsen and James A. Fryer. In 1927, just 
ten years after selling his interest in the store, Knudsen 
bought the business back again. 

In 1942, Otis Harris bought Knudsen's, discontinued 
the line of groceries, and changed the name to Ashton 
Mercantile, and then sold it in June 1945 to John "Jack" 
T Lyon, Ashton's depot agent for several years. He died 
in 1947, but his wife, Gloy, and his son, Glade, contin- 
ued to operate it as Ashton Mercantile for a few years 
until the name was changed to "Lyon's." Lois Whitte- 

more and Sarah Allison were long-time clerks in the 
store. After Lyon's Store closed in 1988, the building was 
rented for a while as a dance studio and then leased for 
a short time to Lyle and Ann Oldham, who hoped to 
turn it into a bakery. The building was sold to Bill Bates 
in 1998, and he rented it to Chuck Stanley. It was even- 
tually leased to Margie Carlson in 1998, and she rented 
the back portion to Sheryl Umbach for her Flower Barn 
until 1999, when Margie bought the building and the 
flower business and continued operation as Mountain 

One day a little girl about six years old came into Ashton 
Mercantile in tears and cried that her mother had told her to 
go to Lyon's store and get a spool of thread, but she couldn't 
find Lyon's. The name of the store was immediately changed 
to "Lyon's." 

The traditional basement "TOYLAND" at Christmas in Lyon's 
was always highly anticipated and enjoyed by the children of 

Dottie Wurtz, a colorful Ashton resident who could often be 
seen riding her bicycle around town, once got mad at Glade 
Lyon and threatened never to come into Lyon's Store again. 
And she didn't. She would stand at the door and holler for the 
clerks to bring merchandise to her. 



At one time, Glade Lyon attempted to locate the sewer line 
behind Lyon's store by blindly digging, and hiring "Banjo" 
Andy to help dig, but to no avail. Keith deStwolinski, the local 
plumber, happened by, and when Glade appealed to him for 
help, he got his witching wands. Glade laughed and laughed, 
but by using them, Keith located the line (see sidebar to 
Hammond Plumbing). 

The Enterprise Newspaper Building sat to the east 
of Lyon's store in the middle of the north side of the 
500 block of Main Street in Ashton's early days. In 1927 
that building was sold to William Card, who moved it 
to his property north of the tracks and used it for his 
blacksmith shop. A new 30-by-80-foot brick building, 
for years known as the Kiser Mortuary, was built that 
same year next to Knudsen's to replace the Enterprise 
Newspaper building that had been moved from that 
site. The new building housed the post office for 12 
years in its west half, while the front of the east half 
was used by Mrs. Katherine Kiser as a dress and spe- 
cialty shop, and the rear half by her husband Lewis 
Kiser as Kiser Mortuary. The building was bought in 
1944 by A. C. Snyder for a Coast-to-Coast Store and 
later sold to Neil Barkus, and later to Homer E. "Bud" 
Trussell in 1954. He sold to Bill Dick, who acquired a Ra- 
dio Shack franchise and also sold floor coverings. Bill 
purchased the Lyon's store building to the west in 1989, 

cutting a large doorway between the two buildings, but 
he returned ownership of the building to Glade Lyon in 
1998. The east building was sold by Bill Dick to Dave 
LaLonde, who then sold to his son-in-law Kent Dum- 
mer, who later sold to Harold "Hersh" Lenz as the cur- 
rent Lenz Electronics. 

Bud Trussell, who purchased the store in 1954, said, "we 
moved here in 1954, and soon after we arrived, we ordered 
more stock, and here came Peter Kiewit with dozers, and they 
tore up the street. There was a three-foot drop from the 
sidewalk to the dirt exposed by the dozers." 

A large building on the northwest corner of Sixth and 
Main, commonly known as the Ashton Theater, was 
built by George Harrigfeld, probably in the late 1940s. It 
was a high- class theater, and George hired high school 
girls dressed in usher uniforms to help people find their 
seats. Apartments were located above it. In the late 
1960s, the business, after being closed for a time, was 
purchased by a coalition of Ashton men, and the build- 
ing reopened under the management of Clair Allison. 
It closed again in the 1970s. During the late 1960s and 
early 1970s, the building also housed a number of other 
Ashton businesses, including Jardine Jewelry Store on 
its west side and the popular teen hangout The Husky 
In 'n' Out on its east side. It featured pinball machines 



and had a drive-up window where customers could get 
hamburgers and soft ice cream. The building was pur- 
chased several times, not only for a theater but also for 
other enterprises. 

The cornerstone of the Odd Fellows Building on the 
northeast corner of Sixth and Main was laid June 20, 
1907, on lots that had been donated to the fraternity by 
the Ashton Townsite Co. with the proviso that it house 
the Ashton State Bank. The building was constructed in 
1906 by Smoky Johnson, with William Baker doing the 
brickwork. There was a lumber and hardware store on 
the east side of the ground floor. The meeting room on 
the top floor, known as the Social Hall, was the scene 
of regular Friday night dances and other events dur- 
ing the 1930s. They had their own band that played 
up and down the valley. The building was cut in half 
and dragged away by teams of Josh Brower to become a 
store and printing office, with the latter half becoming 
Bill Card's blacksmith shop. 

Around 1913, a building was added to the east side of 
the lodge hall and over the years had many occupants, 
including Tony's Tire Shop, the Utah Power and Light 
Co. offices, and the office of Dr. Ed Hargis. This building 
deteriorated and was destroyed about 1960. 

Over the years, the first floor of the main building 
has housed many businesses, including a hardware 
store, the Ashton Herald newspaper, the U.S. Post Of- 
fice, a harness and shoe repair shop, Fitch Photo Shop, 

Dr. Stronks's dentist office, Keith's Plumbing, followed 
by H. & S. (Hammond and Smith) Plumbing, Utah 
Power and Light Co., Anna Moore's beauty shop, Hair 
Fair owned by Linda Janssen, the Flea Market operated 
by the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, Stanley's Furniture 
Mfg., and most recently Arrowhead Realty, owned by 
Todd and Laurie Hossner. 

In the early 1950s, Ross Wynn bought a lot on the 
south side of the 700 block and then in 1954 traded it to 
Fall River R.E.C. for two lots on the north side of the 600 
block, where they built Wynn's Furniture, a furniture 
and floor-covering store. It is in operation today run by 
Ross's son Sam. 

Jackson's sits at the northeast corner of Seventh 
Street and Main Street. The business was originally 
known as Circle K and was built in the early 1970s. 

Early development on the east end of Main street in- 
cluded the Log Cabin Court Motel built at the north 
corner of 10th and Main Streets in about 1920. It was 
built by Hugh Rankin and David Kenderson Rankin. 

Next page. This photo of the Odd Fellows Building was probably 
taken in 1908 or before since it is a Teton Pharmacy postcard and is 
similar to others that are dated 1908. This building has housed 
several businesses, including a bank and a newspaper (the Ashton 
HeraldJ and appears in many photos of Ashton. The building is still 
owned by the Odd Fellows and is still standing as of 2006. 



Side Streets 

One-half block south on Fifth Street, just south of 
what is now Key Bank, on the north side of the alley, was 
a drayage business started in 1906 by Harry Woodburn, 
who was later a major bulk gas and oil distributor. It 
was purchased by Norman Kent in 1940, and he and his 
wife, Leona, lived there with their children. Norm de- 
livered coal and hauled whatever else the community 
needed moved. 

In April 1906, Joseph Baker and Parley Whittaker 
built a mammoth 60-by- 100-foot livery stable with a 
shed roof addition for carriages at the southeast corner 
of Fifth and Fremont. It was one of the largest buildings 
in Ashton at the time. Joe's son Horace bought out Whit- 
taker a year later. 

In 1906, Baker's Livery started a stage line from Ash- 
ton to Marysville. C. Nordvall and H. E Hulse purchased 
that livery stable in 19 10. 

On the southwest corner of Fifth and Fremont was 
a small building that housed a shoe and harness repair 
shop. That building and the livery stable were replaced, 
probably in the 1950s, by Leo A. "Sam" Earle and his 
brother Dave, who had an Allis Chalmers farm ma- 
chinery dealership and a Case dealership called Earle 
Equipment. They later acquired a Ford dealership. Af- 
ter they closed, the building sat empty for some years 
until it was purchased by Robert Gaston for his Yamaha 
Snow Mobile business. After he retired, he sold the 

building to Robert Comstock Jr., who used it for storage 
and later for the home of Fall River Design, an embroi- 
dery business operated by Steve Anderson. The embroi- 
dery business was later moved to the City Drug Store, 
and the building is now used for storage. 

At one time there was a blacksmith shop where the 
current U.S. Post Office is on Fifth Street, one and a 
half blocks south of Main Street. It was owned by a 
man named Wessel. A livery stable was south of what is 
now Key Bank, across the alley north from the current 
Methodist church. 

Ghormley Mechanical Industries, one block north 
of Main street on Seventh Street, has been owned and 
operated continuously by the same family since 1912. 
That was when Edward Stewart Waugh moved here 
with his family and lived in a tent while they got the 
shop running. They did metal repairs, welding, plow 
sharpening, horseshoeing, and anything else to keep 
the business going. Son Claude took over the business 
and eventually sold out to his nephew Donald Ghorm- 
ley in 1962. Don had been working in the business 
since he was 12 years old. Mitchell and Maurice, Don's 
son, now operate the shop. The shop sits on the same 
corner as the site of Ashton's early water tank. 

The Ashton Cheese Factory was located half a block 
east of the Opera House, on the southwest corner of 
Sixth and Fremont. The first owner of the lot was J. A. 
Fulleton in 1907, and then it transferred to G. G. Wright 



in 1909. The lot was next sold to Conrad Peterson in 
1944, and in 1945 to Nelson Ricks Creamery, which 
probably built the factory. Ownership was vested for 
some time in Elizabeth M. Peterson and Jean Alice Pe- 
terson, who returned it to Nelson Ricks Creamery in 
1963. It was managed by Bill Ware, and later by Basil 
Manwaring in May 1955. They bought milk from all the 
local dairies. It was a favorite place for kids, because 
they could buy a bag of cheese curds for a dime. It had 
a distinctive, warm smell that hovered all along that 
block of Sixth Street. The building was later demolished 
by Glade Richards, who built a garage and shop for the 

What are now vacant lots on Fremont Street between 
the Ashton Cheese Factory and the Opera House at one 
time had a tennis court. When the American Legion 
owned the Opera House in the 1950s, they installed 
swings, teeter-totters, and a sand pile for a children's 
playground on the vacant lots. 

When it was decided to install a drinking fountain on the 
playground, the plumber's witching wands were used to 
locate the buried water line. They worked for Hugh Hammond 
and Glade Lyon, and the line was located, but plumber Louis 
Smith couldn't make them work. 

Other Businesses 

The history of Ghormley's Burnt Bun is uncertain. 
It had several locations. The original hamburger stand, 
owned by Bill and Edna Ghormley was near the Rankin 
Motel on Highway 20 before it was moved to the corner 
of Sixth and Main Streets, where late-night moviego- 
ers could get a hamburger. This location also had two 
gas pumps and was later owned and operated by Lau- 
rel and Jackie Huntsman. The most memorable Burnt 
Bun was a kids' hangout in the early 1960s on school 
property just west of Hummell Motel. It bordered Main 
Street, just across the street from North Fremont High 
School, and students had easy access to it for lunch. 

In 1977, David Krueger moved his manufacturing 
and sales business named Pioneer Gifts from Salt Lake 
City to a location south of the east side of Marysville, 
where he built a home and two warehouses. He later 
moved the operation to northern Idaho and finally 
back to Salt Lake City. 

An old photo shows that the Cottage Hotel was lo- 
cated, facing south, on Fremont Street between Fifth 
and Sixth Streets with the Hulse Livery Stable to the 




In the novel Desperate Scenery, Elliott Paul tells 
of Madame Lake's Emporium or hotel, which was a 
house of ill repute located just north of the baseball 
diamond. It was fenced, but the girls were still able to 
watch the ball games from the area of deep center field. 
He tells the story of the night it burned down and of the 
hapless gentleman whose pants were destroyed in the 
fire. He was afraid to go home to his wife without them 
so had to find a tailor in the middle of the night to make 
him a new pair as near to the old ones as possible so she 
would not know. True story? 

Standard Oil Company changed their name to Amoco 
Oil Company, and the company added a truck bay. 

Darrell Murdoch tells of working at Tony's Amoco when an 
overbearing California tourist towing a big boat came in 
demanding more service than Darrell thought he deserved, 
and, as he was leaving, demanded to know where he could 
put in his boat. Darrell suggested Fullmer's Beach, which was 
a swimming pool in the sand dunes northwest of St, Anthony, 
According to residents of St. Anthony, the tourist actually went 
to Fullmer's Beach and demanded to know where he could 
launch his boat, 

Service Stations 

The automobile brought many changes in the busi- 
ness community. One of the first automobile service 
stations was on the west corner of the south side of the 
400 block owned by Neal Christiansen, and then by Ted 
Heller, who ran it for 19 years and sold to R. J. Davis. It 
was then bought by Theone "Tony" Maupin, who used 
it as a tire shop. 

Theone "Tony" Maupin was one of the main gas- 
station operators in Ashton. He started his first service 
station August 1, 1951. He bought the property from 
Cliff Long with proceeds from the sale of his wife Made- 
line's Jersey cow and a $3,000 bank loan. He leased from 
Vica Pep 86. He worked alone the first two years from 
8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. seven days a week. In 1953, 

In about 1968, Tony built a new station at 300 North 
Highway 20 but soon sold it to Jack Rice, who operated 
it for a short time and then removed the gas pumps and 
put in a full-service grocery store called Jack's. They 
sold fishing licenses and equipment, and it was a pop- 
ular stop for tourists and locals alike. He and his son, 
Mike, operated it successfully for several years until 
Mike's wife Teresa was tragically killed in a hold-up, and 
they then sold the business in 1993 to Larry Huhn, who 
closed it in 1998. 

In 1960, "Tony" was able to acquire a bulk oil distrib- 
utorship, and in 1984 he purchased the Fremont Co- 
op building as a self-service station. The Cardtrol self- 
service business was started there in 1978. 


Russel Scow, about 1940. 



In 1992, Tony's son Dan Maupin took over, becom- 
ing a Carquest dealer and adding new products and au- 
tomotive parts. In 1997, Dan opened the Teton Travel 
Plaza service station north of Ashton on Highway 20. In 
1998, they took out the pumps from the original Tony's 
Amoco on the corner of Fourth and Main and put in a 
tire and lube shop, which was later sold to Rod Moul- 
ton, who now operates Rod's Tire Shop there. 

Adjacent to the north of Jack's Grocery Store was a 
service station owned and operated by Jay Lords. The 
family lived behind the station and, when they sold 
the business, moved the house with them southwest 
of town. The newly remodeled station was leased by 
Bill Kerssen, but it was soon closed by the EPA for a 
petroleum leak. It is now a convenience store. 

Another service station on Highway 20 was origi- 
nally The Red Lunch, run by Jim and Ada Whittemore 
about 1920 across the street east of Rankin Court. It 
was so called because the stools had red seats. Bill 
Bessey turned the "Red Lunch" into a Texaco Service 
Station about that same time. Recently this building 
has housed a fly-fishing store. 

At one time there may have been ten service stations 
in town. The most westward one was owned and oper- 
ated by Keith Nave along with a hamburger joint. When 
Keith got home from the service in 1946, he came to 
Ashton to see the dog races and went to work cooking. 
He noticed the Laureleaf Service Station just west of 

the railroad tracks on the south side of Main Street and 
rented it. He says he had $56. He bought a gas camp 
stove and had Claud Waugh make him a griddle from 
the lid of a washing machine. There was a plank on 
two stumps to work on. There were two gas pumps, 
but he didn't have enough money to have the tanks 
filled. He named it Keith's Lunch and operated it for 
about two years before he sold it to Don Caverhill. The 
LDS church eventually acquired this property and built 
the Ashton LDS Seminary building on it. The building 
is currently a dentist office for Drs. Kunz, Brizee, and 

On the west corner of the 600 block was Hemming's 
Chevrolet garage, which had two pumps. Across Main 
Street to the north and a block east was Tom's Chevron 
Service Station owned by Tom Chamberlain. He also 
had a repair shop for lawn mowers and sold chainsaws 
from 1955 to 1965. This business was later owned by 
Bob Bean, Circle K, and is now Jackson's Convenience 

Ernie B. "E. B." Hart had a Conoco station on corner 
of Sixth and Main where the old Ashton Theater is. 

Jon and Lorene Hoch came to town in 1940. He 
worked for Howe Lumber before he bought the Tex- 
aco Court, a gas station at the corner of seventh and 
Main, with cabins for rent, in 1942 until 1965. It was 
closed and vacant for some time and then was pur- 
chased by the Ashton Memorial Nursing Home. They 



sold the cabins to Jessen's Bed and Breakfast on South 
Highway 20. The site is now the home of Baxter Funeral 

Bud Trussell reported that Jon Hoch ran the gas station and 
was cranky all the time. A tourist came into his station, and 
Jon asked him, "Do you want some gas?" The tourist said, "No, 
I just want to use your restroom. I don't need anything else." 
When he came out, Jon threw a bucket of water on him. 

A station owned by Cliff Boger stood in the middle 
of the 600 block on the north side of Main Street. It 
also had the American Oil Distributorship, and he later 
turned the station into a bar and lounge. It is now the 
location of the Baptist Church. 

Bill and Edna Ghormley had a service station with 
two gas pumps on the corner of Sixth and Main, and a 
hamburger stand called the Burnt Bun. 

On the east corner of Fifth and Main Street was 
Harry Owens' Wescott station, and in its life was owned 
by Jim Whittemore, George Amen and Dick Miller, and 
J. R. (Junior) Atchley This site is now the home of Key 

The Ford Garage owned by Sam Earle a half block off 
Main Street on South Fifth Street also sold gas at one 

The lot at the corner of Park Avenue and Main was 

first purchased by E. M. Varin on January 10, 1910, and 
then by Benjamin A. Wood ten days later, then by H. 
G. Fuller in 1919. H. Thomas bought it in 1936, and H. 
G. Fuller two months later. Then Gem State Oil, Dewey 
Davis, and in December 1936, Utah Oil Refining, which 
probably built the station there that was managed first 
by Chet Moyer, then by Jack Harker until he sold in 1947 
to Cliff Long, who sold to Tony Maupin in 1951. 

Ernie Hart's Conoco was on the corner of Sixth and 

Log Cabin service station was on west Main Street 
but became Ashton OK Rubber Welders in 1951. 


The Enterprise was started in a tent first used as 
a home by Roy Driscoll in Ashton, in 1906, on the lot 
at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Main Street 
before the Odd Fellows Hall was built there. Heber H. 
Hartvigsen who, at age 19, was Ashton's first newspaper 
publisher, ran the first printing shop and later used that 
tent. The newspaper was called The Enterprise. Its first 
issue was printed on August 10, 1906, with F. X. Dolenty 
as editor. After a few months, the business moved to the 
upper story of Dick Humphries' saloon until summer 

Boylen's of St. Anthony had built a small building 
in 1906 on the north side of the 500 block of Main 
Street for a man's clothing store operated by Charlie 



Anderson. When they closed, Hartvigsen bought the 
building for his newspaper. In 1908, the Ashton Hotel 
and the Ashton Enterprise were the only businesses on 
the north side of the 500 block. The Enterprise was sold 
to C. M. Mercer in 1910, and then in 1917 to Fred Mar- 
tin, Glen Kost, and others who continued to operate the 
newspaper as the Non-Partisan League, a socialistic co- 
operative of farmers. Their self-proclaimed aim was to 
"enlist the aid of farmers who could contribute funds to 
operate a large cooperative general store." There was 
much dissension, mostly political, between the various 
factions, and in about 1920 three fires destroyed the 
printing equipment that was stored in a building near 
the Ashton Opera House. 

The Ashton Herald, owned by W. A. "Bill" Lansberry, 
and then later by his son Milford Lansberry, had already 
started publication by then near the corner of Fourth 
and Main, partly to oppose the Non-Partisan League's 
political views. Their first edition was dated April 24, 
1919, but was not actually released until April 26. Ralph 
and Jean Hunter were listed as the publishers of the 
Ashton Herald in 1955, and they were named first-place 
winners among papers of that size by the Idaho Press 
Association. Harry Beall purchased the Ashton Her- 
ald in 1957 and appointed Gwen Albrethsen as editor- 
manager. Later the newspaper was purchased by St. An- 
thony's newspaper, the Chronicle News. Carol Bessey 
was its longtime editor. 


The first train to stop at the Ashton depot site was on 
February 14, 1906. There was a huge celebration that 
included the opening of the Millers Bros. Elevator lo- 
cated on the corner of Park Avenue and Main. Special 
trains brought in hundreds of people who helped cele- 
brate with a non-stop dance and free refreshments fur- 
nished by the local bars. Thomas Bros later acquired 
Miller Bros. Elevator. 

Other elevators listed in a 1910 business directory 
were Miller Bros. Elevator, Jonas Mosser, Mgr.; Ashton 
Milling and Grain Co., S. D. Farnsworth Mgr.; R. D. Mer- 
rill Grain Co.; J. Harshberger, Pres.; Ashton Elevator Co., 
S. D. Farnsworth, Mgr.; Hershberger and Co., J. Hersh- 
berger, Pres.; J. C. Robertson and Co., J. C. Robertson, 

Grain elevators built along the railroad tracks on 
Park Avenue included Reinke Grain and Pillsbury 
Grain, which was the favorite place to play cards with 
Doyle Daniels. Richard Reinke bought his first elevator, 
located on Railroad Avenue and Main, C. M. & E. Col- 
orado Milling and Elevator, which had been managed 
by Mott Fuller and later by Cliff Paskett, purchased in 
1948 from Herb Stewart, who had bought from Jack 


Elevator, looking to the southwest from Park Avenue near Pine Street, about 1908. 



In 1937, R. O. Reinke announced the purchase of the 
Mark Means Building, which would give him storage 
for an additional 70,000 bushels of wheat. On March 
16, 1955, one elevator burned to the ground, destroy- 
ing 35,000 bushels of grain and causing an estimated 
$100,000 damage, but Reinke rebuilt it. 

Reinke Grain Co. built a geodesic dome office build- 
ing at the same location just west of the railroad tracks. 
In 1980, the company bought the Pillsbury Co. Eleva- 
tors in Ashton, and France Siding on Highway 32 south- 
east of Ashton. Reinke Grain leased the E1/2N1/2 and 
E 1/2 S 1/2 of block 33 to Selco Service Corp. in 2000. 

Thomas Bros. Elevator was sold to Hal Harrigfeld. 

Years later, Lynn Loosli built several grain bins on 
Park Avenue just south of Main Street. 

Businesses along Highway 20 

Highway 20 from Ashton to West Yellowstone was 
opened in 1957, and many businesses were then 
started along it or were moved to it from Highway 47, 
which was Ashton's Main Street. Some businesses were 
already established on it before the change was made. 

Hugh Rankin and David Kenderson Rankin built the 
Rankin Court about 1920 on the west side of Highway 
20, just south of Ashton. The Log Cabin Court was later 
sold to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hummefl, who opened it 
in 1960, operated it for about 14 years, and then sold it 
to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene P. Morrison. 

Hummell Motel was opened by Mr. and Mrs. Richard 
Hummell in 1950 and was sold in 1957 by Mrs. Jack Swa- 
ger to Mr. and Mrs. Steven Davis. 

In 1958, the Hamburger Haven was built near the 
south end of town on the east side of Highway 20 by 
Claude Lee. It was later known as D & L Cafe; then 
Doyle Walker operated it as the Teton Cafe. He leased 
it to Linda and Dan Kent and Glenda Heskett. In more 
recent years, it was Big Jud's, home of the one-pound 
hamburger. The building is currently being remodeled 
as a real- estate office. 

Fall River Cafe, about five miles south of Ashton 
on State Highway 20, was built in the 1960s by Harry 
Housely Purchased and operated by Jill Lehmkuhl, it 
was known locally as Jill's Cafe. She sold it in 2004. 

In the 1960s, Joe Rankin built Rankin's Bowling Al- 
ley on the west side of Highway 20 on the south side of 
Ashton's Main Street. He operated it for many years as 
a league bowling alley, part of the elementary school's 
physical-education program, and a small cafe. Dennis 
Nichols, with financial backing from Slusser Wholesale 
of Idaho Falls, bought the bowling alley in the early 
1970s and turned it into an IGA grocery store. In 1983, 
he sold it to Dave Thatcher, who sold to his son-in-law 
Dave "Jake" Jacobsen in 1997. Now known as Dave's Ju- 
bilee Market, it is a popular stop for gas and groceries 
for those heading up to Island Park. 


The Rankin Motel, about 1930. 



The Frosttop Drive-in opened in the 1960s on 
the farthest west corner of Ashton's Main Street; it 
was owned and operated by the Garner family. It is 
still in operation today after a succession of own- 
ers. Mike and Carol Rasmussen opened Performance 
Sports north of it, selling snowmobiles, jet boats, and 
four-wheelers, and servicing small engines. Idaho Irre- 
sistibles opened in a home on the west side of Highway 
20 in the 1980s, selling a complete line of fishing equip- 
ment and supplies. Swiss Precision opened their green- 
house business on Highway 20 in the 1980s just north 
of the city limits, selling all sorts of nursery plants and 
contracting landscaping. 

Jack's Grocery Store started life as a gas station 
owned by Tony Maupin. The business was run by Jack 
Rice and his son, Mike, for many years. In 2004, after 
being vacant for several years, the building was pur- 
chased by Rodolfo and Robin Rivas, Cody and Cau- 
reen Miller, and Steve and Kathy Anderson, dba Lyon- 
hearted LLC, who remodeled it and leased the space. 
Robin Rivas leased part of it for a Mexican restaurant 
named Mi Ranchito, and by Swiss Precision Enter- 
prises, who sublet part of it to Outback Realty. 

Jay Sutton opened Sutton's Saw Shop in the late 
1960s a half block east of Highway 20 repairing small 
motors, but sold to David Birch, who still operates it. 

The Ashton Visitor's Center was built just north of 
town on Highway 20. It is owned by the city of Ashton 

and manned by volunteers. It has a picnic area, rest- 
rooms, and a dumping station for RVs. 

In the early 1990s, Corwin Coughlin purchased 45 
acres just north of the Ashton Visitor's Center and built 
a Super 8 Motel, a convenience store, and a cafe that he 
named Glade's Cafe after Glade Lyon, who was the real- 
estate agent who helped him find property. It was later 
closed, reopened as a Burger King for a short time, and 
is currently occupied by Big Jud's. Later, Valley Wide ac- 
quired the convenience store and cafe. The motel was 
recently purchased by Dave Purcell and has been re- 
named Ashton Inn. 

Ashton Memorial Nursing Home purchased six 
acres east of the motel, where they built their new fa- 
cility after completely closing the old hospital. 

The property immediately to the north was pur- 
chased in 2004 by the Klinglers, who built a store featur- 
ing fishing equipment and drift boats, and the property 
to the east of that was purchased by J&P LLC in 2005. 

Seed Potato Industry 

The Ashton area is world-renowned for its seed pota- 
toes. The peculiar characteristics of the silt loam soil, 
elevation, climate, and water of the area contribute 
to the industry. There is a lower incidence of dis- 
ease organisms that affect potatoes than in other soils. 
A short summer season also benefits seed potatoes, 



contributing to the vigor of the plants and shortening 
the time diseases have to gain a foothold in the crop. 

The first potatoes were grown in family gardens and 
stored in root cellars. In 1920 Orvil Stansill was the 
first in the Ashton area to plant potatoes for seed. In 
1921, Mr. Stansill and George Harrigfeld, E. Heseman, 
A. H. Strong, and Mark White, all farmers in Ashton 
and Marysville, built a potato cellar north of Ashton. 
Local growers adopted the idea of a seed-potato crop 
and won ribbons in 1924 at the Idaho State Seed Show 
for their potatoes, including Netted Gems (Russet Bur- 
banks), Irish Cobblers, and Idaho Rurals. 

Early growers used horse-drawn, single-row plant- 
ers and diggers to harvest potatoes. In the fall, after 
frost killed the vines, the digger lifted potatoes out of 
the dirt and left them on the ground. Large crews gath- 
ered the spuds by hand into baskets, and those into 
sacks, which were loaded by hand onto wagons and 
hauled to small, dirt-topped cellars for storage until 
spring planting. The work was slow and backbreaking 
but put food on the table. 

During the 1920s and '30s, the seed industry in Ash- 
ton helped meet the needs of potato growers in the rest 
of the state. J. R. Simplot, one of Idaho's most influen- 
tial farmers, and other pioneers of the potato indus- 
try were building up their operations from small farms 
to large organizations. The Ashton seed potato farm- 
ers joined together as the Ashton Seed Growers, which 

addressed issues of importance to the industry and pro- 
moted Ashton seed-potato industry 

Joseph Marshall, an Ashton seed grower instrumen- 
tal in the formation of the Idaho Potato Commission, 
recognized that the common practice of planting the 
cull potatoes from each crop was damaging the yield 
and quality of the resulting crop. In 1940, the Idaho 
Crop Improvement Association was created to develop 
and enforce regulations regarding the quality and char- 
acteristics of seed potatoes to define certified seed. The 
regulations specified that certified seed potatoes would 
undergo inspections during the growing season, be 
tested for diseases, and be tagged as "Certified" before 
delivery to customers. 

Even more interest in Idaho potatoes was created in 
1940 when Union Pacific, the University of Idaho, Ore- 
gon State, and the Idaho and Federal Departments of 
Agriculture brought the "Spud Special," a train billed 
as an "eight-car exposition" about potatoes. It visited 
several states and numerous cities. More than 35,000 
visitors viewed the traveling exposition. 

During World War II, dehydrated potatoes were part 
of the rations for troops fighting in Europe and the Pa- 
cific. The Simplot Company was a major supplier of 
potato products to the military. After the war, Simplot 
perfected the process of freezing French-fried potatoes, 
ushering in an era of major growth in the industry. A 
huge demand for frozen French fries grew from the 



development of fast-food chains. This led to a need 
for many more acres of potatoes to be planted, har- 
vested, and stored, which required a greater number of 
seed potatoes, which affected Ashton. In 1954 the en- 
tire state of Idaho had 10,941 acres of seed potatoes, 
and seed was grown in at least 21 counties. In 1962 Fre- 
mont County alone had 6,180 acres of seed potatoes. 

During the fifties and sixties, the major change in 
the potato industry was mechanization. Single-row 
planters requiring workers to hand-place a seed piece 
were replaced by two- and four-row planters that 
picked up and placed the seed potato in the ground 
and buried it all in one operation. Potato diggers, or 
"combines," could dig the rows of spuds, separate the 
dirt and vines from the potatoes, and carry the crop 
over conveyors directly to a truck bed. They could then 
be unloaded in the cellars onto pilers, which moved 
the potatoes without handling them. In the fifties, "the 
hog," a movable piler that operated at floor level, was 
developed, enabling the cellars to be emptied mechan- 

Marilyn Monroe promoting Idaho potatoes. 



In 1965, Walter Sparks, a researcher at the Aberdeen 
Research and Experiment Station, convinced Preston 
Atchley of Ashton to install a forced-air ventilation sys- 
tem in his new cellar. That year an early frost hit the 
area, and many potatoes were frozen in the fields. After 
the spuds were stored in the cellars, those damaged by 
frost began to rot and spread disease into the rest. The 
only farmer able to save his potatoes was Atchley. That 
one demonstration convinced the local potato industry 
of the value of ventilation systems for potato storage, 
and most cellars in the Ashton area now have them. 

Research in potato production, disease, and new 
varieties goes on constantly. The development of tis- 
sue culture, that is, growing a plant from a few cells 
of another plant, has made new varieties available 
and helped seed growers reduce disease by replacing 
seed stocks regularly. Greenhouses use tissue-cultured 
plants to produce disease-free tubers for seed-potato 
growers. Each year the seed-potato crop increases ge- 
ometrically. By the third or fourth year of production, 
the seed grower sells to the producer who grows pota- 
toes for consumers. The largest potato greenhouse in 
the Pacific Northwest, owned and operated by Clen and 
Emma Atchley, is just five miles east of Ashton. 

The Ashton area is designated a Crop Management 
Area by the Idaho Department of Agriculture, and the 
only potatoes that may be grown in the area are certi- 
fied seed potatoes. It has been the world's largest seed- 

potato producing area for many years. Over the past 
few decades, the number of seed-potato farmers has 
dropped dramatically. In 1962, 160 were listed in Fre- 
mont County by Idaho Crop Improvement. Today there 
are only fifteen, including the Atchleys, Kurt Kandler, 
and Tom Howell. In the 1990s the Ashton area had over 
13,000 acres of seed potatoes, but in 2004 the number 
dropped to around 10,000. Seed potatoes remain a ba- 
sic source of income for area farmers, and agriculture 
remains the basis for the economy of Fremont County 
and Ashton. 

Mexican Laborers 

The influx of Mexican laborers started around 1945. 
At first the numbers were small, but they continued 
to grow over time. By around 1975, there were a good 
number of laborers who worked in the potato-farming 
industry and labored in general for farmers or loggers 
in the summer months, returning to Mexico in the win- 
ter. However, over time many of these hard-working 
people brought their families to Ashton to stay. They 
became property owners, taxpayers, and an accepted 
and important part of the community. As their chil- 
dren grew up attending Ashton schools, many went on 
to continue their educations. Most recently, Ashton's 
youth of Mexican descent who have either graduated 
from college or are currently studying include a doctor, 



a lawyer, an architect, a schoolteacher, and a service- 
man in the U.S Navy, just to name a few. 


Ashton's first full-time weatherman was George 
Sadoris, who started keeping track of local temperature 
and precipitation about 1969, and supplying the infor- 
mation to the TV station so Lloyd Lindsey Young and 
other newscasters could tell us what had been happen- 
ing and what might be "in the wind." When George 

retired in 1982, John Blackburn took over, recording the 
maximum and minimum daily temperature, precipita- 
tion, and snow depth. This information was sent to the 
National Weather Service and the U.S. Department of 
Commerce National Oceanic and Atmosphere Admin- 
istration for almost ten years until he and his wife went 
on a mission for the LDS church. Wendell Rich then 
began reporting the weather until he moved in August 
2003 and the Targhee National Forest personnel took 


Chapter 3 


Law Enforcement 

Through the years many individuals have served in 
the capacity of law enforcement. Ashton's first marshal, 
Joseph S. Johnson, was appointed August 8, 1906. His 
salary was $60 per month, which was a high wage for 
those days. The village clerk received $2 and the trea- 
surer $1 per month. James Kirkland soon replaced him 
at $50 per month, with L. E. Judkins as night watchman 
at $10 per month. A year or so later, the new marshal, 
George Carlow, was asked to resign, but a petition with 
22 signatures saved his job. 

Ashton's first police car was a pickup used by both 
the police and the maintenance crew. With no radios, 
communication was difficult, so yellow lights were in- 
stalled on the City Building and the Ashton Hotel, and 

the telephone operator would turn them on if the po- 
lice were needed. 

Other law enforcement officers include Frank Gar- 
man, Charles Heath, O. P. Sparkman, Ed Schofield, 
Scott Christiansen, Donald Simpkin, Warren Bratt, 
Bryan Awwin, Bob Worrell, Charles Heskett, Glen 
Munger, John Atchley, Earl Smith, George Ivie, George 
C. Amen, James Allison, Eldon Pence, Ray McBride, Earl 
Barker, Wayne Thompson, Tom Stegelmeier, Robert 
L. G. Gunter, Thomas Ray Murdoch, George Sadoris, 
Kerry Watts, Ted Heller, Dale Smithies, Bob McDonald, 
Ed Sebeck, Bob Perez, Stephen Brood, Dave Marine, 
Don Sibbit, Don Fox, Lynnnette Welker, Brett Goebel, 
Greg Griffel, Herbert Strong, E. J. McKinley, Tom Rush, 
Stephen Cramer, Birch, and Tom Mattingley These are 



not necessarily in order, and most of the information 
from the years 1917 through 1949 is lost. 

In 1917, the marshal was instructed to install 100 feet of 
hitching rack along Sixth Street. 

Oliver "Bronc" Sparkman was Fremont County sheriff from 1921 
until 1926 and then was probably appointed Ashton's marshal. 

Ted Taylor was chief of the Ashton Volunteer Fire Department 
for thirty years. Henry Bolland was Ashton's justice of the 
peace from 1972 to 1975. 

City Water System 

Ashton's municipal water tank was erected in 1907, 
and the city water system was finished in 1908. The 
first well was drilled near the junction of Seventh and 
Pine Streets, and a water tower was erected there. In 
May 1910, the city paid McMullen Plumbing and Heat- 
ing $1,549.53 for the Water Works. A bond to finance a 
new tank and tower was rejected in 1920. Then, in Jan- 
uary 1923, ice built up on the tank. When John Davis 
attempted to dislodge it, a large piece of ice fell and 

hit one of the supports, which caused the tower to 
twist and fall, and Davis was injured. Several citizens 
responded to his calls for help, including Dr. Hargis, Dr. 
Doty, William Lansberry, F. A. Humes, Dan Thomas Jr., 
Laurence Manning, R. G. Baker, Paul Haack, and Mrs. 
Randall Howe, a trained nurse. 

A new well was drilled about 1924, and a water tower 
was brought in from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Two more 
wells were drilled near the intersection of Tenth and 
Main. A new ground-level water storage tank was built 
about 1985 and currently furnishes water for the city. 

A familiar wide-scape photograph was taken from atop the 
tower in 1917. It hung in Ashton Public Library for many years 
until it was damaged, Recently it was restored, and copies of 
it were sold to raise money for the Ashton Archives. (Part of this 
photo was used on the first page of this book.) 

As they neared Ashton after a car ride, kids would chant, "I 
can see the water tower, I can see the water tower," 

George Kent drove the sprinkler wagon for the village for 
many years. 




The first city streets in Ashton were graded dirt. They 
were said to be so bad that even a team and wagon 
could sometimes not make it. It wasn't long before they 
were graveled, and then a layer of pumice was added to 
fill the bog holes. About 1956, Mayor Timmons added 
two to three inches of gravel and over-sprayed in the 
1960s with asphalt. In about 1978, a Teton Dam Recov- 
ery grant of $600,000 along with matching funds from 
a city bond allowed the streets to be built up and sur- 
veyed for proper drainage. Two more inches of gravel 
and a seal coat later made the streets very good. 

It was so exciting when the first automobile came to town. 
One night some friends were gathered near Farnum, 
southeast of Fall River, Suddenly they saw strange lights across 
the river coming down the dugway. Everyone got excited, 
especially Dooley Oberhansley. He was sure that the world 
was coming to an end. The rest of the group had a hard time 
convincing him that it was only an automobile with headlights, 
moving on toward the Fall River Bridge. 



Notice the signs on Ashton's Main Street. They actually say 
"Maine" Street. When the wrong street signs arrived, city 
employees just painted over the "e." 

Deep snow sometimes made travel difficult. 




The original sewer system was put in Fremont and 
Idaho Streets in about 1917. It was connected to what 
was called a "cess pool" on the north end of Third Street. 
That was used until about 1960, when the city pur- 
chased ground west of Highway 20 from C. L. Ashley 
that had three ponds on it. Pumps and aerators were 
added in the 1970s with help from a federal grant. 

Mail Service 

The first mail service in the Upper Snake River Val- 
ley began in 1866. It went by stagecoach to Eagle Rock 
(now known as Idaho Falls), then as far north as St. An- 
thony. In 1896, service was extended to Lodi on a Star 
Route by team and wagon three times a week, with Mrs. 
Mary Dorcheus as Postmistress. Morris Sprague used 
a dog sled to deliver the mail that first winter. Then 
George White Sr. carried the mail from Chester up the 
old Fall River road to Farnum, Lillian, and Squirrel be- 
fore the Oregon Short Line reached Drummond. Other 
delivery points in 1906 were Vernon, Ora, Marysville, 
Drummond, Greentimber, and Warm River. 

In February 1906, Harry Cannon was appointed 
postmaster for the Ashton Post Office, which was lo- 
cated in his general merchandise store building at the 
west corner of the 500 block of Main Street. Team 
and wagon delivered the mail until the "Railway Mail 

Service" train arrived a few days before Christmas in 
1906. Harry served until December 1909; Felix Burgess 
served until March 1915. At about this time, the Post Of- 
fice was moved to the Moore and Fuller Building, and 
then moved again to the rear of the First National Bank 
Building, which later became the Neifert Hotel. Earl 
J. Kidd succeeded Felix Burgess in 1915, and Richard 
Baker followed him until November 1933. 

In 1927, the location of the Post Office was changed 
again, to the west half of the Hartvigsen Building. 
Thomas Hargis followed Baker, serving until 1949, 
when he was succeeded by his wife, Jalma "Chic" Ri- 
ley Hargis. In 1938, the location was changed to the 
Howe Lumber Co. building and then, in 1960, to a 
new building at 608 Main Street. In 1954, Richard P. 
"Bud" Swanstrum was appointed as postmaster. He was 
called to serve with the National Guard from October 
1961 until August 1962, and while he was gone, Virginia 
W Hargis served as officer in charge. Bud continued to 
serve until his retirement in May 1979, after the longest 
term of service of any postmaster in Ashton. Wendell L. 
Brinkerhoff, as officer in charge, succeeded him tem- 
porarily until August 1979, when Rex Wilson was ap- 
pointed postmaster. During this time Val Arnold served 
for several months as officer in charge. Kerry Cottrell 
succeeded him in 1986 until his retirement in 1999. 

In 1989, a new post-office building was constructed 
at 500 Fremont Street. Corey Knapp and Cindy Lee 



Grover were, in turn, the officers in charge until Febru- 
ary 2000, when Royce C. Jackson was appointed post- 

It is believed that the original contract for the construction of 
the building at 500 Fremont Street, which seems to sit up 
higher than necessary, called for a fill of 0.4 feet, which was 
misread by the contractor, who brought in 4,0 feet of fill dirt, 
Needless to say, it has good drainage. 


When the railroad came in, the stage lines to Yellow- 
stone National Park immediately began using Ashton 
as the starting point for trips to the western entrance to 
the park. The settlement of Ingling, about a mile north 
of Marysville, had a beet dump, an icehouse, a rail- 
road wye, and the Davis boarding house. Before the line 
to West Yellowstone was completed, people bound for 
West Yellowstone could take the train to Ingling, stay in 
the boarding house overnight, and then take a stage for 
the rest of their journey. 

The Oregon Short Line Railroad completed the West 
Yellowstone Branch in November 1907, and the first 
passenger train arrived there then. 

By 1918, stages were available from Ashton to Ora, 
Squirrel, and other outlying areas. However, most of the 
facilities were removed in 1950 as diesel locomotives 
replaced steam locomotives, and the passenger trains 
were removed from the schedule. For some years the 
combined passenger and freight train between Ashton 
and Victor was called the "Gallopin' Goose." 

The railroad line to West Yellowstone was abandoned in 1979. 
The line from Tetonia to Victor was abandoned in 1981 , and 
from Tetonia to Ashton in 1990. That right-of-way was then 
taken over by the Idaho Department of Recreation for a "Rails 
to Trails" hiking and bicycling path. 

Louis Hammond started work at the round house about 1922 
and became foreman. 

The stage from Ingling to West Yellowstone crossed the 
Marysville Bridge and continued north to Hatchery Ford, 
where it crossed the Henry's Fork of the Snake River and then 
continued on to West Yellowstone. 


Ashton train depot, about 1925. 




The residents of Green Hill, a settlement next to the 
Teton River, built the first telephone system in the area. 
The Fremont Independent Telephone Co. was desig- 
nated as the phone company for Ashton. It was known 
as "the Farmer's Line" and was extended into Lillian 
about 1912. It was connected to the line from Ashton 
in 1915. The Lee girls, Ada Whittemore, Lou Dorcheus, 
and Hazel Harris, were the first operators. 

E. J. McKinley established Ashton's first telephone 
exchange in the Cannon Building. The first operator 
"hello girl" was Ida Pulley. Other operators were Rose 
Marie "Burlap" Whittemore, Veda Cunningham, and 
Cecil Ezell. The first troubleshooter for the lines was 
Earl Kirkstetter. He installed the first line from Ashton 
to Jackson Lake and from Ashton to West Yellowstone. 

The lines were "party lines" and required a differ- 
ent signal (i.e., one long ring and two short ones) for 
each different party, and were handled by the opera- 
tor. In 1912, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph 
Co. bought the old Fremont County Telephone Co., and 
a new switchboard was installed in the Odd Fellows 
Building. In 1924 it was moved to a location one block 
south to the Virian Flats, and was later moved to the 
northwest corner of the Ashton Hotel. At one time it 
was managed by C. A. Snyder, and later by Cecil Ezell. 
Alma Christofferson, Mary Garz, and Helen Heinz were 
some of the operators at the time. 

Typical telephone operator in the 1920s. 

Telephones used the "number, please" system; calls 
went through the operator, who often knew how to 
locate the person being called. In 1936 the exchange 
was converted from magneto to battery. Fremont 
Telephone bought out Mountain States Telephone in 
1936. In 1955 rotary dialing began; Ashton's prefix was 
Olympic 2 (OL2), followed by four digits — all that were 
needed for many years. In 1961 the system converted 
to "all-number calling." Ashton's prefix was 652, and 
connecting to locations outside Ashton's calling area 
required all seven. In 1971 push-button tone dialing 
began, requiring at least seven. Long-distance charges 



applied outside Fremont County until 1988, when the 
calling area was expanded from Island Park to Malad, 
the largest "local" area in the United States. 

The telephone girl sits in her chair 

And listens to voices from everywhere. 

She hears all the gossip, she knows all the news, 

She knows who is happy and who has the Plues. 

She knows all our sorrows, she knows all our joys, 

She knows every girl who is chasing the boys. 

She knows of our troubles, she knows of our strife. 

She knows every man who talks mean to his wife. 

She knows every time we are out with the boys. 

She hears the excuses each fellow employs, 

She knows every woman who has a dark past, 

She knows every man who's inclined to be fast, 

In fact, there's a secret 'neath each saucy curl 

Of that quiet, demure-looking telephone girl. 

If the telephone girl told all that she knows 

It would turn half our friends into bitterest foes. 

She could sow a small wind that would be a big gale, 

Engulf us in trouble and land us in jail. 

She could let go a story, which, gaining in force, 

Would cause half of our wives to sue for divorce, 

Get all of our churches mixed up in a fight, 

And turn all our days into sorrowing nights, 

In fact, she could keep all the town in a stew 

If she'd tell the tenth part of the things that she knew. 

Oh, really now, doesn't it make your head whirl 

When you think what you owe to that telephone girl? 

Electric Power 

In January 1913, three advisors of the Ashton & St. 
Anthony Power Company, led by N. N. Holm, visited 
Ashton and optioned both sides of the Snake River for 
a dam site. Until that time, Ashton had no source of 
electricity except a gasoline generator. They requested 
a franchise to supply power to the town, and the city 
council accepted that proposal. Later, Mr. Holm re- 
turned from a trip to California to find that the Utah 
Power and Light Co. were meeting that night with the 
Ashton board to ask for the franchise. He immedi- 
ately went to Ashton. A heated discussion revealed that 
Holm's attorney had not filed the necessary papers, but 
the franchise was nevertheless granted to Holm accord- 
ing to their agreement. 

Although they were harassed and threatened by the 
Utah Power & Light Co., the newly organized Ashton 
& St. Anthony Power Co. built the Ashton dam, a rock- 
filled structure 60 feet high and 500 feet long, starting 
in 1913 and finishing in 1915. McVicker and Woodburn 
hauled the rock for the construction of the dam and 
also hauled new generating units in 1923. 

Warm River Power Co. took over the dam in 1923 
and then sold to Utah Power and Light Co. in 1925. 
Fred Cowley was the superintendent in 1956. In 1957, 
Howard Larsen, Ben Bainbridge, and James Whitte- 
more were honored for working for ten years without 
a serious accident. 



Fall River R. E. C. 

In 1938 Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., 
was organized at a meeting at the Howe Lumber Co. 
with George Amen as president. The first annual meet- 
ing was on November 15, 1939, when forty consumers 
signed up for membership. On April 27, 1939, a loan 
of $80,000 was acquired to install 62 miles of power 
lines. The "A" section, Drummond, Squirrel, Green- 
timber, and the immediate area surrounding Ashton 
were energized in the spring of 1941. That fall the "B" 
section — the Rexburg, Ririe, and St. Anthony areas — 
were energized. The "C" Section — the outlying areas of 
Felt, Driggs, and Victor — were energized the following 
spring. Lines were built to Island Park and West Yellow- 
stone in 1947 to replace the diesel generator there. 

Charlie Causey was business manager and Wal- 
ter Bratt was the first project superintendent. Lee A. 
Steck was general manager from 1941 until 1954. Bert 
Roberts was office manager from 1941 to 1954 and was 
then general manager until 1977. From then until early 

1988, Calvin Wickham was general manager, followed 
by George Mangan and then by Dee Reynolds in 1990. 

The Co-op's first business office was located in a 
rented building next door to Howe Lumber. About 1954, 
the office was moved to the old Wynn's Appliance store 
on the south side of Main Street. Later the office moved 
to the location of Charlie's Cafe, where a new ware- 
house was added. In 1998, the Co-op moved into its 
new building on Highway 20, a mile south of Ashton. 

There have been many changes since the business 
began, including changes in power suppliers such as 
the Utah Power & Light Co., the Bonneville Power Ad- 
ministration, the acquisition of the Teton Valley Power 
and Milling Co. and the Felt Hydro Plant in 1960, the 
devastation from the loss of the Teton Dam in 1976, and 
the building of the Island Park Reservoir Power Plant. 
The Co-op now serves almost 13,000 meters. It contin- 
ues to be a tremendous asset for the community. What 
would we do without electricity? 


Chapter 4 

Churches and Organizations 

Berean Baptist Church 

Pastor John Lovegrove of Gethsemane Baptist 
Church of Idaho Falls held midweek Bible studies in 
homes in Ashton for some months before the arrival of 
a full-time pastor. 

Pastor Kenneth E. Ream, a graduate of Bob Jones 
University, arrived in Ashton in July 1972 for his first 
calling as a full-time pastor. The first Sunday service 
was held on August 6, 1972, in the American Legion 
Hall at the corner of Seventh and Idaho Street. Sun- 
day School was at 10:00 a.m., Church at 11:00 a.m., 
and Evening Church at 7:30 p.m. In January 1974 the 
now "First Baptist Church" obtained a loan of $14,500 
and purchased the Lone Pine Motel on Ashton's Main 

Pastor Ken Dewey became pastor in 1978 and served 
through 1979. 

In 1980, Pastor Phil Tubbs arrived and served as in- 
terim pastor until 1981, assisted by lay pastor Jack Mor- 
ris. Pastor Al Price then took over as interim pastor until 
October 1981, when Pastor Ed Bonne was called as full 
time pastor. 

Pastor Bonne and his family lived in a mobile home 
behind the church during his tenure. Under Pastor 
Price's leadership, the motel cabins were torn down, 
and with the help of men from Mt. View Baptist Church 
of Jackson, Wyoming, and Gethsemane Baptist Church 
of Idaho Falls, a new roof was installed on the church 
building. Pastor Bonne departed in April 1989 because 
of ill health. 


Churches and Organizations 

No services were held until January 1991, when Pas- 
tor Wayne Tucker arrived to restart the church. He re- 
signed in May 1997 to work for Northwest Baptist Mis- 
sions, planting new churches in the Pacific Northwest. 
During his tenure, in September 1994, the name of the 
church was changed to "Berean Baptist Church." 

Pastor Brian Tousley became pastor in June 1997, 
leaving in March 2002. In 1998 a fellowship hall, class- 
rooms, and kitchen were added. Pastor Dean Mc- 
Quillan of Grace Baptist Church in Dillon, Montana, 
brought a crew that in three days framed, enclosed, and 
roofed the addition. With the help of Bob Gaston, other 
improvements were made on the church and grounds. 

Pastor Myron Glatz was interim pastor from March 
2002 until September 2004, driving each weekend from 
Twin Falls, often staying an entire week. 

On September 26, 2004, Pastor Chris Leavel became 
pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Ashton. 

LDS Church 

The Marysville LDS branch was organized in Novem- 
ber 1891, and the first church building was finished 
in 1892, with James Henry Wilson as presiding elder. 
In March 1902, Hyrum Larson became presiding elder. 
The branch was changed to the Marysville Ward on 
June 28, 1903, with Parley Cutler as bishop. 

LDS red-brick chapel, 1907. 


Churches and Organizations 

The Vernon and Lodi wards were combined with 
the Ashton ward in 1907, with Marion Joseph Kerr as 
bishop. Bishop Kerr was born in 1861 with nothing 
more than a carpeted wagon box for a home. In 1893 he 
homesteaded at Ora and was presiding elder of the new 
Arcadia branch in 1895. Bishop Kerr was instrumental 
in building the first LDS church within the city limits of 
Ashton. The Ashton Townsite Co. donated the land for 
the church, and the little red brick church on the west 
corner of town was the result. Bricks for the building 
were purchased from a Mr. Johnson, who owned a brick 
factory just north of town. It was dedicated in 1907, and 
Kerr was called to be the bishop in the Ashton Ward, 
where he served for about one year before being called 
into the Yellowstone Stake presidency. In January 1909, 
Hyrum Rawlins Cunningham was chosen as bishop. He 
served until 1921, when Horace Arnold Hess was called 
as bishop. In June of 1920, the Ora Ward was incorpo- 
rated with the Ashton Ward. 

The furnishings from the Ora Ward included the tall-backed 
bishop's chair, which was later used as the throne for green 
and gold balls. 

In January 1936, Floyd Blanchard was set apart as 
bishop, with Thomas Hammon Murdoch and Eugene 
Hess as counselors. In February 1936, Bishop H. A. Hess 

was named Yellowstone Stake president; he served un- 
til 1945. It was during Bishop Blanchard 's term of office 
that it was decided to build a new chapel, known as the 
White Church. It was started in 1940 on the corner of 
Fifth Street and Fremont Street. Before the building was 
completed, Bishop Blanchard was released, in Novem- 
ber 1945, and Thomas H. Murdoch was appointed 
bishop of Ashton Ward. A highlight of the chapel ded- 
ication was the presentation of an oil painting of the 
Lord's Last Supper by Melva Richey This painting now 
hangs in the chapel of the Ashton Stake Center. 

The last meeting held in the little red brick building 
was on August 17, 1941. The building was then sold to 
the school district and used as a manual arts building. 
On October 12, 1941, the first meeting was held in the 
recreation hall of the new white church. The chapel was 
first used for ward meetings on February 1, 1942, but it 
was not dedicated until June 2, 1946. It was not long 
until the ward was divided. The west half of the ward 
remained the Ashton Ward, with Steven L. Osborne as 
bishop, and the east half became the Marysville Ward, 
with James Stringham as bishop. 

In May 1947, the LDS Church purchased 312 acres 
north of Ashton for $45,000 to be used as a stake farm. 
Working this farm has now been discontinued. 


,, I, ill ill 


Ashton Ward meetinghouse. 


Churches and Organizations 

The Farnum Ward, located east and south of Ash- 
ton, was incorporated into the Marysville Ward in Jan- 
uary 1948. It was soon realized that a new building 
was needed. In December 1949, the Marysville and Ash- 
ton Ward bishoprics met to consider a building site. 
They initiated a logging project for the building. Eighty- 
eight men from the area spent six days cutting tim- 
ber. They used 27 trucks, seven crawler tractors, three 
power saws, several jeeps, and numerous hand tools 
and procured 85 truckloads of timber for the proposed 
building. On August 11, 1950, a group assembled at the 
east end of Ashton's Main Street, and Bishop Stringham 
and Bishop Murdoch accomplished the groundbreak- 
ing. New ward boundaries were established on January 
6, 1952, and all Marysville Ward meetings from that 
date were held in the new building, which was dedi- 
cated June 1, 1952. 

In November of 1949, two Rexburg Stakes and the 
Yellowstone Stake purchased a portion of the J-Y Ranch, 
east of Ashton, from Jack Young for $18,000 to be used 
as a girl's camp. 

On May 30, 1954, the Ashton Seminary building 
was dedicated for the students of North Fremont High 
School. When the new North Fremont High School was 
built in 2004 east of town, a new seminary building was 
built nearby. 

Ashton Ward finished the remodeling in 1969 after a 
fund-raising program. Sarah Allison suggested a "Near 

New Store," which was begun rent free in an empty 
building near the east end of the 500 block, with do- 
nated merchandise and donated labor from the mem- 
bers. It was very successful and led to the establish- 
ment of the Odd Fellows "Flea Market." 

The remodeled building under the direction of 
Bishop Richard J. Clark was dedicated on September 2 1 , 
1969. Bishop Clark served until June 30, 1974, at which 
time Ashton Ward was divided and Leland Edgar Clark 
was called as bishop of Ashton First Ward and Dean 
Green as bishop of Ashton Second Ward. 

On February 24, 1974, the name of Yellowstone Stake 
was changed to St. Anthony Idaho Stake, and then, on 
May 18, 1975, the St. Anthony Idaho Stake was divided 
and the Ashton Idaho Stake was created. Bishop H. Eu- 
gene Hess was called to serve as stake president. The 
first stake conference of the Ashton Idaho Stake was 
held August 17, 1975. 

On October 31, 1977, a groundbreaking ceremony 
was held on a six-acre site on the northwest corner of 
the city of Ashton for the construction of the new Ash- 
ton Idaho Stake Center, which was dedicated by Elder 
L. Tom Perry on July 22, 1979. 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 29, 
1987, just north of Ashton's Pineview Cemetery, to build 
a new three-ward building, and on April 10, 1988, the 
first church services were held there. The building was 
dedicated on October 23, 1988. 


Churches and Organizations 

A concrete slab inscribed 



was above the front door of the Farnum Ward building. After 
the building was demolished, Dick Egbert moved the slab to 
Lyon's Point near the confluence of Conant Creek and Fall 
River. It now holds a place of honor there in remembrance of 
Brigham Murdoch (father of Katie Murdoch Lyon), who served 
for many years as bishop of the Farnum Ward. 

After eleven years, it was decided that the building 
was too small, so a remodeling project was announced. 
On May 23, 1999, the three wards housed in that build- 
ing began holding meetings at the Ashton Stake Cen- 
ter along with Ashton Second Ward and Chester Ward. 
The dedication of the remodeled building was held 
in August 2000 by President Dee M. Reynolds and is 
now home to the First, Third, and Fourth Wards. Those 
wards that now comprise the Ashton Idaho Stake in- 
clude the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Chester, Island 
Park, and West Yellowstone Montana, with summer- 
time Branches in Yellowstone Park. 

Methodist Church 

The first Methodist Church in the area was located 
at Vernon. The first church services were held in the 
schoolhouse, with Harley J. Adams as minister. Con- 
struction on a new church building began in 1898 with 
planed lumber hauled by team and wagon from the 
Arangee Mill in Island Park. It was finished in 1905. 
They sometimes had their own minister but also shared 
a minister with the Ashton church. The ministers some- 
times came on horseback from St. Anthony. One inex- 
perienced minister attempted to cross the river in the 
wrong place and was drowned. 

In 1908, under the leadership of the Rev. A M. Lam- 
bert, the Methodist Church was organized in Ashton. 
A building made of bricks from "Brickyard Hill," about 
a quarter mile west of town, was erected at the corner 
of Fifth and Idaho. A Sunday School, under the leader- 
ship of W L. Robinson, and the Ladies Aid, with Mrs. 
Al Fullerton as president, were important parts of the 
church. A year later, Rev. L. E Vernon became the pastor, 
followed by Rev. Mark White, Rev. R. G. Williams, Rev. J. 
V Maxey, and Rev. G. E. Nagnum, each serving for three 
years or less. In 1910, a parsonage was built next to the 
church on Idaho Street. The Epworth League was orga- 
nized in 1915, which helped bring about an increase of 
the church. In 1921, under the leadership of Rev. B. E 
Meredith, two rooms were added to the church, a full 
basement was put in, a furnace was installed, and new 


Churches and Organizations 

pews were purchased. The Utility Club sponsored a din- 
ner in 1929 and paid off the debt to the Mission Board. 
Rev. J. J. Fleming assisted in these projects. In 1931, Rev. 
C. C. Callahan served, followed by Rev. P. C. Bent. The 
Young People's Sunday School and Social Union groups 
were very active. In 1933, the Study Club, under the di- 
rection of Rev. and Mrs. Coulter, purchased the amber 
Cathedral Windows. 

Under the leadership of Miss Eva W. Brown during 
the early 1940s a substantial gain was made in member- 
ship. In 1945, Rev. Luscher assisted in the remodeling of 
the parsonage. Also in 1945, the younger women of the 
church organized the 20-40 Circle, and the "Advance" 
program was begun. Their projects under Rev. Wm. 
Frank, who came in 1946, included new furnishings for 
the church kitchen and an oil furnace. Under Rev. V I. 
Taylor, who became pastor in 1948, the 20-40 Circle 
sponsored a Vacation Bible School. The Senior Circle 
added many appliances in the parsonage. A Hammond 
electric organ was purchased, which added a great deal 
to the services. The Florence Wesleyan Guild was or- 
ganized in 1948 to carry on the Missionary program. 
The Rev. George Allen came in 1950, and many new 
members were added to the rolls. During this time the 
"Methodist Men" organization was formed. 

Rev. H. C. Newman came in 1952, and the building 
fund for the much- needed new church was started. 
A choir was formed under the direction of Mrs. New- 

man. During the summer of 1954, there was no min- 
ister except guest and lay ministers, including Rev. Ed- 
ward Harms. Rev. George Weber came in 1955 and con- 
tinued with plans for the new church building. The old 
church burned down in 1955. Rev. Mervyn Shay came 
in June 1956, and the parsonage was moved to a new 
location; the remains of the old burned church were 
carried away. The new church was dedicated in 1962. 
Rev. Tom Hill was pastor from 1958 to 1964, followed 
by Rev. Woodrow Harris until 1969, Rev. Allen Lambert 
until 1972, Rev. Harold Black until 1976, when Dr. Em- 
mett Shortreed came, followed by Mark Rolfsema, Rev. 
Grace Drake, Robin Yim, Kent Stangland, Judy Johnson, 
Denny Deizel, Martha Oldham, and now Jan Barber. 

The Utility Club was organized in January 1915, with 
Mrs. Paul Stone as president. They raised funds to 
fence and beautify the Pine View Cemetery, sent knit- 
ted items to the Red Cross at the time of World War I, 
donated food to the Children's Home in Boise, donated 
a motion-picture machine to the school, and donated 
to the Methodist Church, the Ashton Memorial Hospi- 
tal, and many other charitable organizations. 


Zion Lutheran Church, about 1940. 


Churches and Organizations 

Zion Lutheran Church 

The Zion Lutheran Church was formed in Squirrel in 
1901. The first pastor was Rev. F.A.C. Meyer, a student 
on vicarage. He was followed by Rev. Linse on vicarage 
for one year in 1903. He lived at the Reimann ranch and 
held school for the Lutheran children. Pastor Hudloff 
of Butte, Montana, confirmed the first catechumens' 
class, which included Fred Lenz, Juluis Garz, Otto 
Sturm, Seraphina Ploerer, Carl Reimann, and Henry 
Reimann, there in May 1904. The first resident pastor 
was Rev. F.A.C. Meyers, who organized Zion Evangelical 
Lutheran Church on May 19, 1907. He donated land in 
Squirrel for the site of the first church, which was com- 
pleted that year. 

Subsequent pastors were Rev. J. G. Toenjes, Paul 
Schaus, F. C. Braun, Rev. J. M. Kempf, Rev. H. West- 
endorf, and H. A. Kriefall, who served as vacancy pas- 
tor. Next was R. C. Muhly, who brought growth and es- 
tablished a new congregation under the name of Re- 
deemer Lutheran. Under his leadership, new churches 
were built in 1936, both for Zion Lutheran in Squirrel 
and for Redeemer Lutheran in Ashton. Rev. Paul Kop- 
pelman, Rev. H. C. Streufert, and Rev. R. Reith served 
Redeemer Lutheran. In 1938, Pastor N. E. Day was in- 
stalled as pastor of the combined Zion and Redeemer 
parishes. In 1943, a parsonage was provided in Ashton. 
In 1947, Rev. Paul E. Riedel was installed. 

In November 1950, the Zion and Redeemer parishes 
were merged into one congregation, retaining the 
name Zion Lutheran. Work began on a new church 
building in 1951, with the cornerstone being laid and 
the site dedicated in 1953. A parsonage site just south 
of the church was also acquired. Rev. Riedel left in 

1952, and Rev. W. Rist served as vacancy pastor until 

1953. Other vacancy pastors were Rev. Toehlke, Lester 
Muhly, George Ploetz, and Hugo Hein. Pastors serving 
since that time include Rev. Ralph Theimer, Rev. Martin 
Heinicke, Richard Laux, Kent Stenzel, John Fieirabend, 
Ken Schauer, and Bruce Kolasch. 

Christian Fellowship Church 

In 1967, Richard Laux came to Ashton to be the pas- 
tor of the Zion Lutheran church. He later established 
the Ashton Christian Fellowship in 1977. At first, the 
small flock rented the American Legion Hall, which had 
been a Lutheran church many years before. In 1979, 
they were able to obtain the historic railroad depot 
building at no charge. They moved it to four and a half 
acres of donated land on the north side of Ashton, used 
chain saws to cut the depot in half, and then moved 
each half to its new location. Pastor Laux said it took 
about four cases of Elmer's Glue to put it back together 
again. The original building was 117 by 24 feet, but in 
1991 a 40-by-40-foot worship area was added, and they 
have plans for further expansion. 

The church started with a membership of about 


Churches and Organizations 

eight families but has grown to about forty- five families. 
With only a small flock, Pastor Laux had to take a job 
as a drug and alcohol counselor with various agencies, 
including the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, 
until the early 1990s to provide a living for his family. 

The Fellowship has women's, men's, and children's 
ministries, and a church school on Sunday. Pastor 
Laux's wife, Ellen, teaches the "Girls for Christ" group. 
She also teaches a Bible study group each Wednesday 
morning. "God's Great Guys," one of the youth groups, 
is taught by Pastor Laux, who also teaches a Bible study 
group on Tuesday mornings. Rev. Laux said, "We're 
happy to be part of the community." 

Study Club 

The Study Club was organized in 1910 by Mrs. R. D. 
Merrill, Mrs. J. Harshbarger, and Mrs. Florence Owen, It 
was federated in 1912, and the women of the commu- 
nity were invited to join. They met in members' homes 
and had a program and luncheon at each meeting. The 
club gave them an opportunity to socialize and work 
for their community. 

A business meeting was held each time, strictly fol- 
lowing Roberts' Rules of Order. The members of the 
Study Club were involved in civic affairs. The club took 
responsibility for organizing and maintaining the Ash- 
ton Public Library in 1914. During World War I they 
took part in Red Cross work. A card party in 1917 

earned forty dollars for the Red Cross and also made 
"comfort kits" for the Ashton boys serving overseas. 

In 1919, when the Village of Ashton bought a half 
interest in the cemetery from Marysville, the Study 
Club raised money for the fence and chose the name 
of "Pineview Cemetery." They helped with the an- 
nual Armistice Day program held at the Opera House. 
They held programs, dances, and fundraisers to enter- 
tain the townspeople and raise money for community 
projects. They bought trees for the Ashton Elementary 
School grounds, organized the Elementary School Li- 
brary, and donated to the Ashton Memorial Hospital. 
In 1933, the Study Club purchased the amber Cathedral 
Windows for the Methodist Church. 

The Study Club no longer serves Ashton, but it is un- 
clear when they disbanded. Newspaper articles dated 
December 16, 1965, show that they were still function- 
ing at that time. 

American Legion 

The Ashton American Legion, Post 89, received its 
official charter in February 1919. The first post com- 
mander was William Waugh. Other post commanders 
include Turner Sparkman, Ott Harris, Bill Garz, John T 
"Jack" Lyon, Niels Knudsen, D. E Taylor, Dewey Hayes, 
Randall Howe, Ben Bainbridge, Max Warsany, Hal Har- 
rigfeld, Charlie Harris, Lorenz Schaefer, John Black- 
burn, Kay Reimann, Earl Barker, Fred Stephens, Steve 


Churches and Organizations 

Card, Warren Moon, John Tanner, Perry Grube, Mar- 
vin Tighe, Richard Huntsman, Bob Kiefer, Jim Harrell, 
Don Ghormley, Bob Gaston, Melvin Atwood, Claude 
Daniels, and Glade Lyon, who served as Seventh Dis- 
trict commander, department vice commander for 
Area C, and five years on the National Internal Affairs 

The organization has been active in community af- 
fairs. They assist the wives, widows, and children of vet- 
erans in need, hold graveside services for deceased vet- 
erans, maintain a brick memorial in Pineview Ceme- 
tery to honor all deceased veterans, co-sponsored the 
flagpole at the new high school, hold memorial services 
at six area cemeteries on Memorial Day, give scholar- 
ships to high school seniors, sponsor high school junior 
boys to Gem Boys State, conduct an annual oratorical 
contest, work with the fifth- grade teachers to teach flag 
etiquette to their students, and produce the commu- 
nity birthday calendar. 

American Legion Auxiliary 

The Ashton American Legion Auxiliary Unit 89 was 
organized January 21,1 922, with Mrs. D. S. Whittemore 
as president. The permanent charter was granted Jan- 
uary 5, 1923. These female partners of American Le- 
gion members work closely with the American Legion. 
Each year they sponsor high school girls to Syringa 
Girls State (which was originated by Luella Baum, an 

Ashton member), sell poppies to raise money for the 
Veterans Hospital, and are involved in many other com- 
munity events. 

Veterans of Foreign Wars 

In 1990, the FW was granted a charter, with John 
Tanner as commander, Harvey Sorenson as first vice 
commander, Leon Palmer as junior vice, and Brian 
Wilkening as quartermaster. Their two main sources 
of revenue are county warrants and a share of the 
"Cowboy Poets" presentation in St. Anthony. Owning 
no post home, they have met in several places, in- 
cluding Linda's Restaurant, Richard Huntsman's home, 
and Trail's Inn Restaurant. Commanders have been 
John Tanner, Richard Huntsman, Brian Wilkening, and 
Melvin Atwood. The post sponsors or participates in 
the community Easter Egg Hunt and the Cowboy Poets 
presentation. It also awards four $200 scholarships an- 
nually to local students; donates to the National Home 
and the National Children's Home; participates in the 
poppy drive; has a presence at Memorial Day, July 4th, 
and Veterans Day ceremonies; co- sponsored the flag- 
pole at the new high school; and has donated to many 
other worthy causes. 


Churches and Organizations 

Lions Club 

The Ashton Lions Club was chartered February 5, 
1941. Some of the members were Lloyd Compton, Dar- 
win F. Taylor, Rulon Hemming, E. W. Lupton, A. R. 
Clouse, A. A. Krueger, W. A. Lansberry Jos. D. Klamt, 
T J. Timmons, E. A. Hunt, Hale Hubbard, J. L. Whitte- 
more, W. O. Harrris, Arvid Glover, and Murray Baum. 
Projects included sending the Ashton Herald to all area 
servicemen in the Pacific during World War II, buying 
uniforms for North Fremont's football team, helping 
buy band uniforms, a lighting project for the soft-ball 
diamond, and so on. 

Lady Lions 

After returning from a Lion's Club convention in Sun 
Valley, Una Stringham, Irene Harker, Donna Zundel, 
Gertrude Hill, Marie Martindale, Mildred Jones, and 
Gwen Gygli organized the Ashton Lady Lions Club on 
December 2, 1952, electing Gertrude Hill as president. 
They sponsored many community projects, including a 
Christmas decorating contest; donations to cancer, po- 
lio, and other worthy causes; helping send girls to Girls 
State; clean-up week at the school library; and many 
others. One of the most successful was the story hour 
for pre-school youngsters. 

Rotary Club 

The Ashton Rotary Club was chartered on June 26, 
1956, with 23 members. Ralph W Hunter was the 
first president, and H. S. Stewart was vice president. 
Other officers were Grant Jardine, secretary, J. H. Van- 
Deusen, treasurer, and Mark Anderson, sergeant- at - 
arms. The Rotary Club has made many contributions 
to the community, improving the city park, helping 
with the swimming pool, painting the medical clinic 
building, and furnishing a community Christmas tree 
each year. Other projects have been building an amphi- 
theater at Warm River Campground, erecting a shelter 
in the city park, helping fund football and basketball 
scoreboards, and giving scholarships to deserving stu- 
dents. Their foreign-exchange-student programs and 
Junior Miss programs have been very successful. The 
Rotary Anns, the women's part of the organization, has 
added greatly to their success. 

Masonic Lodge 

The first authorized meeting of Ashton Lodge #73, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was held in Ashton 
on February 26, 1914. The elected officers who presided 
at the meeting were Fred A. Wilkie, worshipful master; 
William A. Upham, senior warden; Ole A. Brothen, ju- 
nior warden; John A. McDonald, treasurer; and Fred M. 
Schnedler, secretary. 


Churches and Organizations 

Eastern Star began in August 1917. Gem chapter's 
first worthy matron was Emma Foote Fuller, worthy 
patron was Clarence M. Mercer, and assistant matron 
was Erne Mercer. The charter was dated June 1918. The 
members made cookies and knitted clothing for the 
World War II effort. Masons and Eastern Star moved 
into their present location in 1940. 

Meetings were held in the hall commonly known as 
the Krueger Building until 1940, when the lodge pur- 
chased the present building from the estate of Fred 
Landre. The lodge then bought Lot 8 of Block 46 lo- 
cated west of HG Lumber and still owns it. The build- 
ing housed a cafe on the main floor and had several 
rooms that were rentals on the second floor. The Lodge 
remodeled the second floor and held their meetings 
there while continuing to rent out the main floor as 
a restaurant. On July 1, 1948, the Masonic Lodge gave 
a six- year lease to Glen and Evelyn Pond on the main 
floor and basement for a cafe. After the lodge quit rent- 
ing the main floor as a cafe, it was remodeled into a 
banquet room and kitchen. 

In 2002, the members of Ashton Lodge #73 AF & 
AM merged with St. Johns Lodge #52 AF & AM located 
at Shelley, where the Ashton Masonic Lodge members 
now attend. Membership in Ashton Lodge #73 AM & 
FM at the time of the merger was 57 members. 

Odd Fellows 

Lodge #88 of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows was organized in March 1906, and the charter 
was signed October 17, 1906, by Hugh H. Rankin, Ft. 
G. Fuller, N. L. Darling, William Zimmerman, G. X. Do- 
herty, George Harrigfeld, and A. C. Langley Mr. Fuller 
was the first grand noble, and R. D. Jennings was 
elected secretary. The cornerstone of their building was 
laid June 20, 1907, on lots which had been donated 
to them by the Ashton Townsite Co. with the proviso 
that it house the Ashton State Bank. The building was 
built in 1906 by Smoky Johnson, with William Baker 
doing the brick work. There was a lumber and hard- 
ware store on the east side of the ground floor. The 
meeting rooms on the top floor, the Social Hall, have 
been available for many dinners and dances. They had 
their own band that played up and down the valley. 
Around 1913, a building was added to the east side of 
the lodge hall and over the years had many occupants, 
including Tony's Tire Shop, the Utah Power and Light 
Co. offices, and the office of Dr. Ed Hargis. This building 
deteriorated and was destroyed about 1960. Over the 
years, the first floor of the main building has housed 
many businesses, including a hardware store, the Ash- 
ton Herald newspaper, the U.S. Post Office, a harness 
and shoe repair shop, Fitch Photo shop, a dentist's of- 
fice, and Keith's Plumbing, followed by H. & S. (Ham- 
mond and Smith) Plumbing, Utah Power and Light Co. 


office, Anna Moore's beauty shop, Hair Fair, the Flea 
Market, Stanley's Furniture Manufacturing, and Arrow- 
head Realty. The meeting room on the top floor was the 
scene of regular Friday night dances during the 1930s. 

Drew Whittemore came in 1912 and rented the basement of 
the Odd Fellows Building for his concrete business. His name is 
still visible stamped into many of Ashton's sidewalks, 

The ladies auxiliary the Rebekahs, with Winifred 
Rankin as chair, was organized in October 1922. The 
Ladies Auxiliary Ashton No. 2, of Canton Snake River 
No. 18, Patriarch Militant I.O.O.F, Ashton Idaho was the 
complete title of the ladies' auxiliary that was organized 
in 1922, with Winifred Rankin president, Martha Lans- 

Churches and Organizations 

berry vice president, Rosa Marquardt secretary, and 
Tillis Simmermacher treasurer, but has been inactive 
since 1931. 

The meeting room on the top floor was the scene of 
regular Friday night dances during the 1930s. The Re- 
bekahs' Flea Market, a store run with volunteer help 
and donations, has been a tremendous asset to the 
community for many years. They sometimes rent out 
the space to various charitable organizations that then 
take over the operation, including the donated mer- 
chandise, and are able to add to their own finances. Or- 
ganizations operating the Flea Market are the Daugh- 
ters of Utah Pioneers, the Ashton Christian Fellowship, 
the Upper Valley Bible Church, the American Legion 
Auxiliary, and other nonprofit organizations. 



Dr. Hargis (left) in front of his office, about 1910. 


Chapter 5 


There was plenty of opportunity for recreation 
around Ashton. Besides the fun that people made for 
themselves with barn dances, swimming holes, home- 
made games and food, and invented games using what- 
ever kids could find, other social and cultural events 
helped define the growing town. For instance, it is 
noted that in July 1906, a circus, Eiler's Big R. R. Show, 
came to town and performed "Rip Van Winkle." 

Opera House 

The Ashton Townsite Co. sold the site of the Opera 
House to Charles Bartlett in 1906, and Murphy and 
Melton were clearing the land of sagebrush and be- 
ginning construction in 1909. W. J. Anderson was the 
carpenter. E. M. Varin was the manager in 1910 and 

bought the lot from James Melton in 1912, who got it 
from Walter Melton in 1909 after he acquired it from 
Charles P. Bartlett, who bought it from the townsite in 
1906. In 1920, the building reverted back to the Town- 
site Co. and was purchased by C. C. Moore and H. G. 
Fuller, who owned the building for ten years. The Amer- 
ican Legion acquired title to the building in 1940 and 
used it for a meeting hall for the next 34 years. The 
American Legion made extensive changes to the build- 
ing, including adding a kitchen on the north. They later 
traded it to Murray Baum for the old Lutheran Church 
at the corner of Seventh and Idaho, and he used it for 
a meeting hall for his Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 
Baum sold to Sam Earle a year later for storage for his 
Ford dealership. He later sold it to Lynn Hossner, who 



did extensive remodeling and currently has it available 
for rent. 

Belle Lupton, a local music teacher, produced many 
plays and musical events there. Mrs. Lupton trained 
at Ricks College, the Chicago Musical College, and 
Chicago Art Institute. She served as president of the 
State Federation of Music Clubs and taught music in 
many schools in southeastern Idaho. 

Belle Wood Lupton wrote the following song: 

Tall and stately lodge poles that reach toward the sky, 

Cool and shady trout streams gushing swiftly Py; 

Gushing swiftly Py in Idaho. 

Long and shady highways wending through the trees, 

High and rugged mountains, snow caps on them freeze, 

Snow caps on them freeze in Idaho. 


Sweet memories of Idaho 

Of lovely Idaho 

Of friendly Idaho 

O sing the praise of Idaho, 

The Gem State of the West! 

The Opera House has been used for weddings, fu- 
nerals, dances, square-dance lessons, boxing matches, 
roller-skating, school assemblies and lyceums, basket- 
ball practices, auctions, sportsman's jamborees, gun 
club meetings, community events, and plays put on by 

traveling Chautauqua companies many years ago. The 
Chautauqua companies would send a woman director- 
producer to town, and she would recruit people to take 
part in the plays. At least two marriages to Ashton men 
resulted. Madison Klick married Carl Reimann, and at- 
tractive Josie married Max Warsany, but they divorced 
after about six weeks. 

Professional Poxers would come to town and fight anyone in 
the crowd for $30. Vem Calonge, WilPur Dixon, and Ivan 
McGavin were three who fought in the ring. Cal Smith also 
Poxed against the professionals and held the Intermountain 
Heavyweight Championship of the Pacific Northwest 
(although he was actually a welterweight) for several years. 


In 1933, the Ashton Golf Club acquired title to Blocks 
31 and 32, the two city blocks north of Main Street at 
the west edge of the city. They maintained that title and 
had a golf course there until 1947. 

Carl Bates purchased and logged 80 acres of timber 
just south of the Green Timber Road next to the Na- 
tional Forest Boundary. After logging the merchantable 
timber, he turned it into a nine-hole golf course with a 
club house. He also has a bar, rental units, and lots for 
sale. He named it Timberline Golf Course. 



City Park 

Ashton developed its city park a block and a half 
north of Main Street between First and Second Streets. 
The city also maintains a baseball diamond a couple of 
blocks east of the park. 

The earlier ballpark at the west edge of Ashton was 
an early-day center for community sports. Each com- 
munity had its own baseball team, and they played reg- 
ular games with each other. There was an oval track 
around the ball diamond for horse racing. The ball dia- 
mond was on the south section of Block 33. 

Swimming Pool 

The Ashton Swimming Pool was built in 1967 in the 
southwest corner of Ashton's city park, after the City of 
Ashton provided a 99- year lease on the property where 
it sits. Merrill Evans, manager of Bestway Building Cen- 
ter, headed the North Fremont Swimming Pool Associ- 
ation that applied for a $30,000 loan and raised another 
$7,500 in donations from Ashton businesses, organiza- 
tions, and residents to construct it. It ranged from 9'6" 
deep where a diving board was installed to 1'6" deep 
where the kiddies' pool was at the other end. Clair Alli- 
son was the first manager. Some other managers have 
included Diane Rhodes, Patti Atchley, and Jan Stronks. 

In 1983, an earthquake near Challis, Idaho, damaged 
the pool, causing it to leak. A citizens' committee raised 

$25,000 to have the pool repaired by Bunker Pool and 
Spa of Pocatello. 

Tennis Court 

In 1976, the American Legion, as a bicentennial 
project, pushed for a tennis court. With cooperation 
from the Idaho State Parks and Recreation Department, 
the City of Ashton, and the Fremont School District, 
it was built on school property and was therefore the 
property of the school district. George Sadoris, a mem- 
ber of the American Legion, was an avid player who 
gave lessons to many of the local students. 


The first motion picture shown in Ashton was by 
Freeman Humes in a tent at the rear of the Cannon 
store. George Swartz and William Swanstrum built the 
Star Theater across the street. The Ashton Theater was 
operated by George Harrigfeld, and later by a group of 
Ashton businessmen. 

Dick Heinz tells of the filming of Paramount's "The 
Unconquered," starring Gary Cooper and Paulette God- 
dard, in 1946. Many local people, including Cleon Cor- 
don and Bus Gunter, were made up as Indians, com- 
plete with war paint. Seventy-eight doubles and extras 
and Cecil B. DeMille, the director, were on location. A 
plank roadway was built for some distance upstream 



from Upper Mesa Falls for the cameras to run on. In the 
movie, a canoe chase of the white explorers by the Indi- 
ans started on Fall River but suddenly changed to the 
Snake River so the movie characters would have Mesa 
Falls to contend with. An overhanging branch that took 
them to a cave behind the falls saved the stars' doubles. 

The story is told thot a color movie camera was lost in Fall River 
but never recovered. 

Ashton Regatta 

The Ashton Regatta held in August each year and 
sponsored by the Ashton Chamber of Commerce 
brings lots of participation from nearby residents. The 
rule that anything that floats is eligible brings in- 
ner tubes, milk- container rafts, canoes, and bicycle- 
powered contraptions. The race begins at the conflu- 
ence of Warm River and the Henry's Fork of the Snake 
and ends at Jim's Dock north of Ashton. 

Jim's Dock was a private financial venture (near the 
old Wendell Bridge) of Jim Merrick, who rented water- 
skiing and boating equipment and sold food and drink. 
For several summers in the 1960s, swimming lessons 
were taught there in a section logged off from the river. 
The dock is now maintained by Fremont County. 


In the 1960s, a group of archers built a "Field Archery 
Course" on the Ashton Hill. It had good usage for sev- 
eral years until the State Highway Department closed 
the road leading east from Highway 20 to it. Dan Whit- 
more put an archery range on the second floor of his 
building but was never able to get the participation he 
hoped for. 


Lynn Allison remembers a "duck pin" bowling al- 
ley, using smaller balls and smaller pins than regular 
bowling alleys, that was installed near the center of 
the south side of the 500 block in the late 1930s and 
was very popular for a few years. The duck-pin alleys 
used smaller balls without holes and smaller pins than 
regular bowling alleys. Automatic pinsetters had not 
yet been invented, so local teenagers set the pins. Its 
demise was probably due to the loss of bowlers to the 
war effort. 

Bowling became a popular sport, with many four- 
man teams going to St. Anthony to bowl, so Joe Rankin 
built an eight-lane bowling alley half a block south of 
Main Street on State Highway 20. It was a hit with the 
local people until personal problems required him to 
shut it down. It was then turned into a grocery store 
by Dennis Nichols, who moved from his location at 



the corner of Sixth and Main and later sold to Dave 
Thatcher, who later sold to his son-in-law Dave "Jake" 
Jacobsen, a most civic-minded citizen. 


Hunting has always been good and is a favorite sport 
in the area. The abundance of mule deer, elk, moose, 
and-since their introduction into the area about 1975 — 
white-tailed deer, has provided sport and much- ap- 
preciated meat to the residents. The harsh winters and 
heavy snows drive the elk out of their summer home in 
Yellowstone Park to the sagebrush deserts to the west. 
There are brown and grizzly bear, cougar, an occasional 
bison, and rarely a bighorn sheep. There are a few ante- 
lope in the western area. 

An account of early Greentimber says that until 1 903 prairie 
chickens, sage hens, and curlews were so plentiful they 
clouded the sky 

Sage grouse and sharptail grouse are plentiful in 
the sagebrush desert, and ruffed grouse and blue 
grouse, both locally called "pine hens," are found in the 
Targhee Forest, and hungarian partridge in farming ar- 
eas. Hunting for ducks and geese is good. Some hunt- 
ing for sandhill cranes and wild turkeys is allowed. 

Targhee National Forest 

The Targhee National Forest was created on July 1, 
1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt combined 
the previously established Henry's Lake Forest Reserve 
and part of the Yellowstone Forest Reserve for a total 
of almost one and a half million acres. In 1910, nearly 
650,000 acres of the south portion were eliminated, 
and 60,000 acres were restored to the public domain 
and taken up as homesteads. The remainder became 
the Palisades National Forest, which in 1917 was once 
again combined with the Targhee, which was named 
in honor of a Bannock Indian chief. The Shoshone- 
Bannock Tribe has ancestral treaty rights to use the for- 

The headquarters of the Targhee National Forest Dis- 
trict, originally called Hallie Park Ranger District, has al- 
ways been in Ashton. The winter headquarters for the 
Porcupine District has also been in Ashton, moving 15 
miles to the east in the summer. 

The first timber sale on the Targhee was to Sam Stod- 
dard in 1905. Logs were skidded out to wagons and 
hauled to the mill or railroad by work oxen and horses. 
The timber was made into lumber or used for power 
poles, potato cellars, corral poles, fence posts, house 
logs, paper pulp, or firewood. 

The Targhee Forest has been a major factor in the 
development of the Ashton area because of the mul- 
tiple uses it affords: hunting, fishing, hiking, floating, 



camping, snowmobiling, sight- seeing, logging, and 
grazing. Thousands of cattle and sheep use the forest 
for grazing during the summer. 

The annual cattle drive in the fall, moving cattle from their 
summer range in the Targhee Forest through the Main Street of 
Ashton to the winter range to the west, is a spectacle enjoyed 
by residents and tourists alike, 

Mesa Falls 

About 16 miles north of Ashton are Upper Mesa Falls, 
which falls about 114 feet, and Lower Mesa Falls, with a 
fall of about 65 feet. These have always been an attrac- 
tion, particularly since the improvement of Highway 47 
in recent years and its designation as the Mesa Falls 
Scenic Byway. 

The Big Falls Lodge was built in about 1912 as an 
office for the Mesa Power Co. but saw much use as 
a lodging house for tourists on their way to Yellow- 
stone. There were plans to build a dam and power gen- 
erator there, but that was never accomplished. Mon- 
tana Power purchased the area in 1936, but again the 
planned dam was never built. Over the years, the lodge 
was used for a restaurant, dance hall, and Scout camp. 

The Forest Service acquired the area in 1986 through 
a land exchange. Within the next three years, the Forest 

Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recre- 
ation restored the lodge, built pathways to the river's 
edge, and listed the lodge on the National Register of 
Historic Places. Lower Mesa Falls is one mile downriver 
to the south, and the Grandview Overlook there, built 
by the Civilian Conservation Corps, in the 1930s, af- 
fords an impressive view of the falls. The Grandview 
Forest Service Campground is located there. 

The Warm River Forest Service Campground, nine 
miles east of Ashton, is a popular camping spot on 
Warm River, as is the Cave Falls Campground, 20 miles 
east of Ashton. 

Gloy Lyon told of staying at the Big Falls Lodge on the first 
night of her honeymoon in 1921 and being terrified of the 
grizzled old desk clerk. 

The river can be deadly. Some years ago, two sailors stationed 
at the Atomic Energy site near Idaho Falls decided to float the 
river. They were cautioned to put in below the falls, so they did. 
But they put their boat in below Upper Mesa Falls, and when 
they came to the brink of Lower Mesa Falls, one of them 
swam to the bank, but the other one rode the boat over and 
lost his life. 

One time a father, and a mother with a small child in her arms, 
stood at the brink of Lower Mesa Falls. The father turned and 



stepped Pack to take their picture, Put when he turned Pack 
around, they were no longer there. 


The Henry's Fork of the Snake River is world 
renowned for its fishing. Local residents have always 
known that Fall River is a better fishing stream, but they 
don't tell. When a tourist wants to know where to fish, 
the locals point to Henry's Fork. MarvTighe, one of the 
world's great trout fishermen, stood on the bank of Fall 
River and declared, "This is the best fishing spot in Fre- 
mont County, and Fremont County is the best fishing 
in Idaho, and Idaho is the best fishing in the United 

On the opening day of fishing season 1 998, Melanie Rivas 
caught a 19-inch, two-and-a-half-pound trout on Fall River in 
water her grandfather said was too high and too muddy to Pe 

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, since 
1920, has added tremendously to the quality of fishing 
by raising fish in the Ashton Hatchery, a mile south and 
a mile west of Ashton. The hatchery produces about 

50,000 pounds of fish a year, including rainbow trout, 
rainbow/ cutthroat hybrid trout, brook trout, brown 
trout, and grayling, most of which are planted in the 
waters of Eastern Idaho. Grayling are also stocked into 
mountain lakes all across Idaho. Progress at the facil- 
ity has been continuous, from the manager's residence, 
built in 1936, to the workshop /garage finished in 2005. 
In 1983, the beautiful spring pond had to be drained 
because of many problems, including the spread offish 

The Warm River Hatchery was leased from the U.S. 
Forest Service and operated by the Department of Fish 
and Game from 1953 until 1973. Although Warm River 
Springs is one of the largest water suppliers in the state, 
the hatchery was closed because of low fish production, 
lack of space for ponds, and poor winter access. 

The Henry's Lake Hatchery provides 1,200,000 eggs 
per year for use in other hatcheries. 

Hark "Snick" Misseldine for many years carried fish in a 
Packpack to Packsaddle Lake and other lakes and streams 
deep in the mountains of Eastern Idaho. He told of seeing an 
osprey take a trout from a mountain lake, and then he 
watched as a Paid eagle tried to steal it in mid-air. They 
fought until it dropped Pack into the lake and then flew to 
different trees and sat and screamed at each other, 


There is no proof that the photo on this Teton Pharmacy Post Card was taken near Ashton, but the postcard does say so. 



Bear Gulch Ski Basin 

In April 1938, Targhee National Forest ranger Rufus 
Hall and junior forester Tippets looked at four potential 
resort sites along Yellowstone Highway 191, with the 
Bear Gulch site being the top selection. The next year, 
Alf Engen, a world-class skier from Norway, helped lay 
out the first runs that became known as the Bear Cat, 
the Dipper, and the Teddy Bear. A crew from the Civil- 
ian Conservation Corps cleared the slopes and con- 
structed a commissary building at the top of the hill. 

Union Pacific was interested in the project and may 
have paid for the survey work because it was near 
the rail line to West Yellowstone, Montana. During the 
1930s, this passenger service to Yellowstone Park was 
one of Union Pacific's most-used tourist lines. 

Originally Bear Gulch was a nonprofit corporation 
between the Ashton Dog Derby Association, the U.S. 
Forest Service, and the Ashton Ski Club. Members 
of the Dog Derby Association included W. O. Harris, 
chairman; Rulon Hemming; Robert Timmons; and J. D. 
Klamt. Bud Clouse operated it. 

The first ride up the hill was on two 5-by-16 flat- 
bottomed sleds linked by a cable that went to the top 
of the hill and was powered by a Caterpillar engine 
with cables wrapped around large drums. One sled was 
pulled to the top as the other sled was let back down. 
Shifting gears at the engine reversed the process. About 
14 skiers sitting side by side on the sled could be taken 

at a time. This lift was affectionately known as the "Red 
Assed Lift." In the fall of 1940, a rope tow was installed 
on the Teddy Bear so skiers could be pulled to the top. 

In 1942, the hill was closed because of World War 
II but was reopened in 1945, when the Forest Service 
issued a permit to Bear Gulch Ski Basin, Inc., whose 
members were Harry Lewies, Dan Reimann, Art Ander- 
son, and Gilman Fletcher. 

In 1948, the toboggan lift was replaced by a T-bar lift. 
The Grizzly run was cleared, and a lodge with a large 
kitchen and huge double fireplace was built. Down- 
stairs were restrooms, wood storage, and an apartment. 
The original rope tow was installed behind the lodge, 
powered by a surplus GMC truck. 

Night skiing was offered for several years on the 
Teddy Bear run as lights were installed along the edge 
of the trees and on poles out in the middle. A shack 
near the lodge housed the generator that powered the 
lodge and the night lights. A double chair-lift manufac- 
tured by a firm in Burley was installed along the side 
of the Dipper run when Fall River Electric extended its 
power lines to the area in 1965. Grooming in the early 
days was done by volunteers lining up to ski-pack an 
individual run; later, double-tracked Ski-doos towed a 
wooden frame with chicken wire suspended and sta- 
pled along the sides. Larger snow machines such as 
Tucker, Thiokol, and Bombardier were used later. 

In the late 1960s, Grand Targhee Resort east of 



Driggs opened. Bear Gulch was well known for its in- 
termediate and expert terrain, and even though it was 
small and had only a 600-foot vertical drop, it had been 
the premier ski area in eastern Idaho. Grand Targhee 
with its high elevation and 2000-foot vertical drop 
brought a world-class ski area to eastern Idaho, taking 
many of the skiers who had patronized Bear Gulch. 

In the fall of 1970, the resort was purchased by Bruce 
Black, Ernie Andrus, and Vern Kelch of Idaho Falls. In 
1978, the resort was sold to Jack Alpi, who later sold to 
Wendell Butcher of California, but in April of 1983 Alpi 
filed suit against Terra Vista, Inc., of Utah, alleging that 
it was a sham company. 

Bear Gulch faced foreclosure by FmHA for the sum 
of $33,000. In 1983, a group of Ashton citizens, under 
the chairmanship of Howard Bergman, tried to raise 
enough money to purchase the facility. FmHA rejected 
their bid of $5,500. Tom Harward and Jim Harward pur- 
chased the resort for $12,000. The resort was closed 
during the 1983-84 season. U.S. Forest Service terms 
were complied with until, in October 1985, Harwards 
were notified of items that had to be corrected before 
they would be allowed to operate the next year. The re- 
quirements were not met, and the area did not open 
for the 1985-86 season. In 1986, the Harwards were no- 
tified that, based on existing conditions and past per- 
formance, the Forest Service did not intend to issue 
a permit for the 1986-87 season. The Harwards were 

given until July 1, 1988, to complete removal of im- 
provements and complete site rehabilitation. 

The resort sat idle until an evening late in October 
of 1989. Lou Woltering, ranger of the Ashton District, 
said he gave the order to burn the lodge. This was a 
surprise to most residents, for there had been no no- 
tice in the news media, nor had public input been so- 
licited in making the decision. Woltering explained, "Af- 
ter making many calls to see if there was any interest in 
salvaging the building, it was not serving any purpose 
the way it was, and there had been numerous break- 
ins," and "Bringing the old lodge up to current building 
and safety codes would be very costly." Doug Muir, as- 
sistant district ranger, said every effort had been made 
to encourage Tom and Jim Harward to bring the oper- 
ation up to safety standards, but it had not been done. 
The matter was in court more than once, with the de- 
cision finally in favor of the Forest Service. A few days 
later, bulldozers knocked down the stone fireplace and 
buried the rubble, leaving just a memory. The incident 
left many local residents bitter toward the Forest Ser- 
vice, and a local mistrust of Forest Service policy still 

It was often said if you could ski Bear Gulch, you could ski 
anywhere in the world. Sun Valley was the first established ski 
resort in Idaho, in 1936, and Bear Gulch was the second. 


Ski runs at Bear Gulch. 



Ambassador's Cup Sports Foundation 

Keith Nyborg served a mission for his church to 
Finland, later returning there to bring the lovely Raija 
home to Idaho to be his wife. Later, when the United 
States needed an Ambassador to Finland, the people of 
Ashton brought pressure to bear on their elected rep- 
resentatives, and President Ronald Reagan appointed 
Keith Ambassador to Finland, where he served for five 
years. When he returned to Ashton in 1986, he sug- 
gested to the Chamber of Commerce that the commu- 
nity sponsor a cross-country ski race similar to the 75 
km Finlandia Ski Race he had participated in. Keith ac- 
cepted the chairmanship of the committee, and along 
with Weldon Reynolds, Arnold Young, Bonnie Burlage, 
James Stoddard, David Krueger, and Joyce Otto, began 
plans for the first race, which they set for February 13, 
1988. As time went on, some of the original members of 
the committee dropped out and were replaced by Ken 
Schauer, Nieca Jessen, and Don Black. 

Within hours of the beginning of the first race, a 
blizzard hit the area, and the race had to be canceled. 
Snowmobiles and sno-cats were sent out to rescue the 
skiers, some of whom were safe at Floyd and Amy Grif- 
fel's Squirrel Store. Some made it to the Kurt Kandler 
home, broke a window for entry, and made a phone call 
to let race officials know where they were. A few made it 
to the maintenance station north of Lamont and were 
rescued by the county road crew. One skier, John Piatt, 

was found on the Reclamation Road. No lives were lost, 
although it was a very dangerous situation. 

Under the auspices of the Ambassador's Cup Foun- 
dation, a mountain bike biathlon was held in the sum- 
mer of 1989 starting at Hiway 20, just north of the 
bridge, running 36 miles east and back to Ashton. This 
event was later canceled because of lack of participa- 
tion. In 1992, the race was held in conjunction with the 
American Dog Derby and was very successful. An off- 
shoot of the above races was the beginning of the Mesa 
Falls Marathon, which has been very successful, with 
the assistance of Dave "Jake" Jacobson, but which was 
originated by Ambassador Nyborg. 

If you want to make her day, just say "Hi ya, Raija" to Mrs. 

American Dog Derby 

Dog teams were a familiar mode of transportation 
in early Ashton, so Jay Ball, Gus Isenburg, George Zarn, 
and others had the idea to hold the first Ashton Dog 
Derby for the North American Championship dog race. 
The first race was held March 4, 1917, from West Yel- 
lowstone, and was won from a field of five racers by 
Tud Kent in 26 hours through a blizzard, 65 miles 



to Ashton. The following year's races were highly pro- 
moted by the Union Pacific Railroad, which ran special 
trains carrying hundreds of passengers from Salt Lake 
City. Whistlin' Lyd Hutchinson participated in the 1922, 
1923, and 1924 races; in her fur-trimmed parka and vel- 
vet pants, she was an attractive national advertisement 
for the races. Whistlin' Lyd died in 1930 but was hon- 
ored by having her picture on the Dog Derby button for 

Tud Kent in his ten-gallon hat and four-buckle over- 
shoes also won in 1919, 1921, 1922, 1925, and 1928. 
Bill Trude won in 1918; Smoky Gaston in 1923; George 
Zarn's son, Alcott, a teenager, in 1924; Warren Cording- 
leyin 1926; and Earl Kimball in 1927 and 1930. The 1920 
race was canceled because of lack of snow, as was the 
race in 2005. Other winners were Roy Stover in 1931, 
Warren Cordingley's son Don in 1932, in 1934 (in the 
only race run on wheels because of lack of snow), and 
in 1935. Ray Peterson won in 1933, and Lloyd VanSickle 
in 1936 and 1937. In 1938 and 1939, the winner was Ce- 
ley Baum. Everett Heseman won in 1940, 1941, 1942, 
1946, and 1947. The races were not held in 1944 and 
1945 because of World War II. Lloyd VanSickle won in 
1948, and Lowell Fields won the newly added freight 
race. The races were called off in 1949 because of too 
much snow, but in 1950 and 1951 they were won by 
Austin Seeley In the last year of the derby, the winner 
was Ernest Harrigfeld. 

Togo Manning, as "the Old Trapper," was a fixture of the Dog Derby. 
He crafted many of the harnesses, rigging, and other leather goods 
used by the mushers. 


Tud Kent, winner of the 1 928 American Dog Derby, on the grandstand receiving prize money and a trophy. 


Lydia Hutchenson, the 1 924 Dog Derby queen, flanked by admirers and a brass band. This photo shows some of the polished showmanship that 
had taken over the American Dog Derby by this time, making it a world-class event. 



Over the years, several women have participated in 
the races, including Lottie Anderson and Monte Bauer 
in 1927; Veneta Calonge in 1928; Thula Geelan in 1930, 
1934, and 1938; and Gene Trude in 1934. 

During the several years of the Dog Derbies, there 
were dances in the Opera House and in the basement 
of the Ashton Hotel, along with wide-open gambling. 
The people of Ashton will never forget the excitement 
of "going to the dogs" at the American Dog Derby, along 
with other dog- sledding enthusiasts from all over the 

In 1948, Lewis Price parachuted with his dogs into a field just 
south of Ashton, but the sled landed on a horseshoe rabbit, 
and all the dogs took off after it, dragging their parachutes 
behind them. 

The VanSickle brothers had a pet bear in their team, but it had 
no patience with the dogs if they were slow and would speed 
them up with a swipe of its paw. 


Chapter 6 


Ashton Public Library 

In 19 10, the Ashton Commercial Club and Free Read- 
ing Room was in an upstairs room above the Teton 
Pharmacy in the Masonic Building. In 1914, the Study 
Club took over its sponsorship. It was moved in 1916 to 
rooms above the Star Theater, where six months rent 
was $15. It was later moved to the Ashton City Building 
in 1943. The first paid librarian was Henrietta Vansell, 
followed by Mrs. C. D. Baker, Mrs. Zelma Ball, Mrs. Flo- 
rence Owen, Mrs. Lewis Kiser, and Mrs. R. L. Baker. Mrs. 
Florence VanDeusen and Mrs. Leo Hammond were 
also involved. One item of expense shown was curtains 
from the Cheap Cash Store for $4.10. The club was later 
relocated just west of the C. W. & M. Building, and then 

moved to the Ashton Community Center. Lorene Hoch 
became librarian in 1966, taking over from Nettie Baker, 
who retired in 1978. Diana Davis started the children's 
library which was later taken over by Eileen Bergman 

Ashton Schools 

When Idaho became a state in 1890, Miles R. Ca- 
hoon was appointed the first school superintendent of 
Fremont County; thereafter, it was an elective position, 
and Miss Gusta Fletcher was, in 1898, the first elected 
superintendent. In 1947, the state law was changed, 
and the local school boards thereafter appointed super- 



The original Ashton Public School, shortly after its construction in 1906. The school was destroyed by fire about 1925. 



The first schools in the area were usually held in the 
home of the teacher or another settler. Schools were 
built about six miles apart so students would not have 
far to travel. In 1891, the first school was built about 
a mile north of the site of Ashton, and in 1895 a log 
schoolhouse was built at Lodi. Mr. Slatery taught at 
Lodi in the winter and Sarilda in the summer. 

In February 1906, the school district of Harris pe- 
titioned to be consolidated with the Lodi district and 
build the Union School at Ashton. It was known as Ash- 
ton Common School District #47, with John Hill, Ernest 
Spratling, and Samuel Tatlow as trustees. This school 
was used until, coinciding with the beginning of Ash- 
ton in February 1906, a two-story brick building with a 
basement was built on the site of Ashton's present el- 
ementary school on First Street. The first janitor was 
named Victor. He was a cobbler and had a shoe shop 
near the horse barn provided for the students who rode 
horses to school. The first principal was C. F. Cowles. 

In 1913, the district was reclassified as Independent 
School District #8. In 1915, a three-story high school 
was built just south of the elementary school. At that 
time there were 224 students enrolled in grades one 
through twelve. The first graduate was Gale Mercer in 
1915, followed by Allie Anderson in 1916, and in 1917 
Mary Beckstead and Rosebud Rogers. The first Junior 
Prom was held in 1918 in their honor. There were 18 

seniors in the graduating class of 1924 under principal 
David L. McClun. He was followed in 1927 by R. R. Bell. 
In 1924, Earl George "Kirk" Kerstetter was hired as 
custodian. He served in that position for 36 years. The 
football field at the old North Fremont High School site 
was named "Kirk's Field" in his honor. 

Notable accomplishments from Ashton's schools include 
beating Ricks College in football in 1927 and Bud Swanstrum's 
district-championship-winning football team in 1942 with Phil 
Smith as coach. Ted Taylor, Hal Harrigfeld, Tom Holcomb, and 
Darrell Murdoch were all on the State All-Start football team, 
Wes Christensen coached Jimmie Marshall as North Fremont's 
state wrestling champion. Hal Harrigfeld's basketball team's 
1978 won over Teton to break their fantastic winning streak. 
Other high points include Wally Siwachok's state 
championship football team in 1989, Bob Christensen's 
winning wrestling team, and Betty May's state debate 
championships in 1990 and 1991. 

The elementary school burned down in 1928. The 
basketball team used the Opera House for practices 
and games until about 1932, when a two-story addi- 
tion was built on the north side of the high school. Fred 
G. Brady was principal, becoming superintendent in 
1935 and serving until 1943, then becoming a member 
of the school board. James V. Lacey was principal after 
Fred Brady, followed by Frank Dorfleur and Mr. Joyce W. 



In 1939, Kenneth Seeley, Bud Rogstead, Winston Taylor, and 
friends managed to herd some cows into the school. Lorin 
Pence and Doug Hoag had planned to help but decided to 
go to a movie instead. They tried to get one of the cows to 
the second floor, but she didn't want to go. Kirk did the 
cleanup with a garden hose, which then required sanding of 
the buckled floor. They each had to pay $20 for the cleanup. 
Winston says, "That was a lot of money in those days, and all I 
did was hold the door open," 

The first yearbook, The Yellowstone Eagle, was pub- 
lished in 1924 and then yearly until 1930, when the 
name was changed to The Derby. There were several 
years in the 1930s when no yearbook was published. 
When Glade Lyon came to Ashton in 1938, as a sopho- 
more, he was surprised to find that there had not been 
a yearbook for several years, so he pushed for one and 
became editor-in-chief of the 1941 yearbook, entitled 
The Husky Howl. The next yearbook in 1946 was called 
The Royal A, but since 1950 the name The Musher has 
been used. 

Early-day transportation for school and other school 
functions was difficult. Mrs. Marion White Albrethsen 
recalls that the 1936 football team traveled to Driggs for 
their game in the back of a truck. 

In 1947, there were 21 school districts in Fremont 
County. When the Idaho Legislature passed a law to 
consolidate districts, an election was held in February 

1948, and Joint School District A-215 was formed. The 
vote was 1,099 to 351. That consolidation of the many 
school districts required the building of a new high 
school and agricultural shop on land furnished, under 
the leadership of mayor Bob Timmons, by the City of 
Ashton, north across Main Street from the existing high 
school. The trustees accepted the new school in August 
1951, with Mark R. Anderson as principal and Don Hay- 
cock as junior-high and elementary principal. Glenn 
Anderson, class of 1933, remembers scooping the first 
shovel of dirt and hanging the last door of the project. 

Some outlying schools and supplies were sold at 
public auction, with Preston Atchley buying the excess 
coal at the Svea Falls (Hugginsville) building for $50, 
Oliver Baum paying $40 for a single- hole outhouse, 
and the barn to Forrest Howell for $370. Stanley Loosli 
bought the Farnum barn for $610, and the Green timber 
barn was purchased by Frank Stegelmeier for $330. 

Because of the need for additional elementary class- 
rooms, construction of eleven classrooms, new rest- 
rooms, a multipurpose room, and a principal's of- 
fice were added to the elementary building in 1965. 
The next building project was the addition of four 
classrooms, an auditorium, and a band room on the 
west side of the high school gymnasium in 1974 un- 
der Chuck Meyers, principal. The seventh and eighth 
grades were moved to these additions during the reign 
of Lyle Hossner, principal, who succeeded Julian Hib- 


Ashton High School, about 1930. The building appears to be severalyears old by the time this photo was taken, as there are obvious signs of 
weathering. An old hand pump to the right of the photo indicates that the photo was taken before the 1940s or 1950s. Further, the addition to 
the right (north) had not yet been constructed. This building became the elementary school, was later condemned in about 1968, and was 
finally demolished in 1974. It stood where the elementary school is today. 



The older portion of the elementary building was de- 
molished and new classrooms added in March 1974. J. 
B. Alexander, Walt Svedin, Gordon Zollinger, Leonard 
Hull, Florence Adams, and Garth Miller were princi- 
pals during this time. In 1979, while Delbert McFad- 
den was principal, the new vocational building was 
completed. Other principals at the elementary level in- 
cluded Dr. Thompson, Terry Johnson, Gail Blanchard, 
Jack Boggetti, Grant Bishoff, and Gloria Winters. With 
John Pymm as principal, following Alvin "Dick" Seeley 
a new bond levy passed, and construction of a new 
high school and junior high just east of town was fin- 
ished in 2004 with David Risenmay as principal. 

Special commendation should be given to Bill Baxter, who has 
produced and directed a high school musical play every year, 
and to JoAnn Gifford Richards Anderson, who has 
spearheaded the operetta in the elementary school. 

June Misseldine, high school secretary for 21 years, should be 
remembered. She said she could train any new principal 
without a problem, 


Chapter 7 



Before Ashton even began, the Arangee Mill in Island 
Park, now covered by the Island Park Reservoir, sup- 
plied sawed lumber for the communities around what 
was to become Ashton. Logging was a major business, 
producing saw logs, power poles, posts, railroad ties, 
mine props, cellar timbers, corral poles, and pulpwood. 
John Van Sickle worked at a sawmill north of Ashton for 
Mr. Jackson in 1897. 

The first sawmill, at the confluence of the Snake 
River and Warm River, was built by Milton M. Ham- 
mond and Joseph S. Hendricks in 1892. A millpond was 
built along side the new mill. A steam boiler powered 
the saw and planer. Little is known about the operation 
of the mill in the 1920s and '30s. By 1940, Randall Howe 

had acquired it. About 1943, Herk Rightenour was buy- 
ing the mill from Howe, but because of wartime condi- 
tions, sometimes the mill was allowed to run and some- 
times not. Herk ran into financial trouble, and Howe 

After World War II, Howe sold the mill to Chet Isaacs 
(just returned from the Navy) and his brother Porter. 
They called their enterprise Warm River Lumber Co. 
and ran it successfully until the mid 1960s. The mill 
was powered with the old water turbine system for 
many years. Chet and his wife, Selma, who taught pi- 
ano lessons in Ashton, built a log home on what was 
called The Island. Logs were trucked in or skidded into 
the Snake River at Bear Gulch with oxen and captured 
at the mill with cables strung across the river. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

There were many small mills as remembered by Nor- 
man Bates, who first came to the area in 1953 and 
worked for the railroad ranch and then for Chet Isaacs. 
He remembers Stoddard Brothers on the Shotgun Val- 
ley Trail, Barney South and Art Fransen sawing house 
logs, and Gene Jones sawing railroad ties near Island 
Park siding. Wadsworth Brothers had a mill in St. An- 
thony, and Bryce Golding had a small mill that he 
moved from one location to another but often set up on 
Antelope Flat. In the early fifties, Gene Anderson and 
Ellis Stoker brought a mill from Squirrel Meadows to 
about a mile north of Ashton — A. & S. Sawmill. In 1957, 
LeBeck Bros, built a large mill just north of Ashton. 
Garland Call had a camp on Fish Creek where he cut 
and hand-peeled power poles. Other timber workers re- 
membered by Norm are Fred Stephens, Lynn Stephens, 
Chet Phillips, Erwin Spitz, Don Gunter, George Kidder, 
Clair McCausey, and Dallas McCausey 

Garry Isaacs, son of Chet Isaacs, tells of playing, when six 
years old, on the logs in the millpond and falling in the water 
and calling for help. He was rescued by a fisherman and his 
son, whose identities were not known to him for about 50 
years. It was later discovered that the rescuers were Dave 
Grube and his son Rulon Grube. 

The Isaacs' sawmill, about 1955. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

Warm River 

The first settlers in the Warm River area were Bim- 
lick and Josephine Stone, who arrived from England in 

The earliest roads to Island Park ran through the dug- 
ways in and out of the canyon and were difficult to 
maintain. An old stone bridge can be seen on the east 
as one drops into the canyon. A contract was let in 1920 
to reconstruct the road going down into Warm River 
and constructing a new bridge at the bottom. Otto Lob- 
nitz was the contractor. 

The Oregon Short Line Railroad was built in 1907. 
Later, J. H. Russell was superintendent of construction 
of the Warm River Tunnel in 1909. The main purpose 
for the Warm River siding was a 60-foot steel turntable 
built in 1908 and used to turn around the additional lo- 
comotives that had to be added to the trains to push the 
load to the top of Rae's Pass in Island Park. Stock pens 
were built south of the turntable in 1911, and there was 
a passing track on the east side. In 1930, the railroad 
listed Warm River as having a stockyard with a capacity 
of nine head of livestock on the loading deck. 

A pump house built in 1907 supplied water from 
the river. The standard 24-foot-diameter 50,000 gallon 
wooden water tank was built on a concrete foundation. 
By 1946, the locomotives were working out of Ashton, 
so this water tank was removed. 

Early farm families on the north side of the river 
were George and Willis Hibbard, Eli Kirkham, G. S. 
Arnold, David Levi Stone, Marvin Jones, and later Lavar 
Cherry. Farmers on the south side of the canyon were 
David Taylor Howell, William Preston Howell, Lorin 
Walker, and Charles Oakland Walker. Others on the 
south side were Max Marotz, Otto Lenz, Harry Hudson, 
Owens, Sheppard, and Joe and Henry Reimann. Ralph 
and Nellie Stephens purchased their Fish Creek Ranch 
just above Warm River from Joseph Hollis Egbert in 
about 1918. 

A post office in Warm River is listed from 1909 to 
1924, though its location or postmaster is unknown. 

In 1909, an LDS ward was created in Warm River 
with Samuel P. Egbert as bishop. In 1914, David Howell 
was released as bishop and George Hibbard appointed 
as presiding elder, as the ward was downgraded to a 

School in Warm River began in 1909, first in Lorin 
Walker's log barn and then in a rock building at the 
bottom of the dugway There were two teachers and 45 
students. After a fire in 1939, a cast-stone schoolhouse 
was built halfway up the dugway on the flat owned by 
Charles Walker. It had a basement and one large class- 
room on the ground floor. A bell hung in the belfry to 
summon the students. 

In 1940, a new two-room frame schoolhouse was 
built at the top of the hill just north of the Dave Howell 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

residence on land purchased from Henry Reimann. 
School was held in the new schoolhouse until 1943, 
when Fremont County consolidated all the small 
school districts. 

School-board trustee Ralph Hossner, a large man, was helping 
install a swing set at the school when Reimann became quite 
animated about not having been paid for the previous year's 
summer fallowing of the soil where the schoolhouse sat. An 
argument ensued, and Ralph hit Henry on the head with a 
shovel, knocking him to the ground. Henry took the matter to 
court, and Ralph was convicted of battery. The school board 
paid the fine. 

Warm River Resort 

Any story of Warm River must include Fred Lewies. 
Not the typical sod-busting German or Mormon im- 
migrant, he and his brother Jack were born in Estonia 
but later went to live with relatives in South Africa. As 
a teenager, he fought in the Boer War but was taken 
prisoner and sent to England. Being skilled, he joined 
a traveling show troupe as a fancy rope performer and 
trick-shot artist, performing before the crowned heads 
of Europe. He also became an accomplished photog- 
rapher, which took him to Australia, Asia, and South 
America. In 1910 the troupe landed in North America. 

Fred traveled west, first to Driggs, but soon to Rexburg, 
where he ran a photo studio and a small farm. 

While living in Rexburg in 1920, he met and married 
Berta Keck, who had immigrated from Switzerland. Af- 
ter their marriage, Fred and Berta found that the Warm 
River canyon reminded them of their homeland, so 
Fred filed a homestead and developed the Warm River 
Inn and Rendezvous Dance Hall. Their first concession 
stand on the edge of Warm River offered cold drinks 
and food. Popcorn was sold, and what was not sold was 
thrown in the river, beginning the tradition of feeding 
the fish. The resort consisted of a cafe, store, bar, and 
rental cabins. 

Fred incorporated Warm River as a village in June 
1947. Berta served as the first mayor. The Rendezvous 
Dance Hall just downstream featured dances every Sat- 
urday night during the summer. The Ross Dunn Or- 
chestra was the favorite band to play at Warm River. 
Dances were held until 1950. There was a fence where 
men could stand and watch the dancers if they didn't 
have a dollar for a ticket. A pillar covered with mirrors 
ran through the center of the dance hall. Every July 4th, 
Fred would entertain his guests with a fireworks display 
shot from the rim of the canyon, directly over the dance 
hall. Alcohol was not allowed inside the hall, but a brisk 
business was carried on in the parking lot. Jim Hoy, who 
ran a still in the Green timber area, was one of the main 
suppliers of moonshine. 


The Rendezvous Dance Hall, about 1930. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

Fred was an active fur buyer for the Hudson Bay 
Company. In the 1920s, rabbit fur hats were very pop- 
ular. Fred paid 34 cents for a snowshoe, and 25 cents 
for a jack rabbit. The carcasses were sold for a nickel a 
pound to make dog food. On a good day a hunter could 
make $25 to $50, which was good money then. 

For years, local men helped Fred put up ice from 
Robinson Creek. Blocks would be sawed and stored in 
sawdust to be used during the summer. 

Fred and Berta's son Harry Lewies attended the Uni- 
versity of Idaho, where he served as student-body pres- 
ident and was active in ROTC. In World War II, Harry 
served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. 3rd Army in 
the Battle of the Bulge under General George S. Patton. 
He earned the Silver Star, Oak Leaf Cluster, and a Purple 

After Harry returned home, he helped his parents 
run the resort and was one of four partners in Bear 
Gulch Ski Basin. He married Lillian Glover in 1951, and 
they made their home in St. Anthony living at Warm 
River during the summers. Harry pursued business in- 
terests in title insurance and realty, and he taught high 
school at South Fremont High School. 

The main highway to Yellowstone was rerouted up 
the Ashton Hill as Highway 20 in 1957, bypassing the 
resort, resulting in a great decrease in business. The old 
Rendezvous Dance Hall that had stood vacant burned 
down in the mid 1960s. The store and cabins were 
leased to various parties during the '60s. Since Harry 

did not wish to go back into the restaurant business, he 
demolished the cafe and bar building. 

In the late 1960s, Harry remodeled the old Keppner 
home and built an addition to it, opening a supper club 
and bar called the Ranch House. The business was op- 
erated at different times by local restaurateurs, includ- 
ing Jill Lehmkuhl, Harry Housley and Larry Hossner. 
In 1974, Harry approached the Orvis fly-fishing equip- 
ment company and opened the first Orvis-endorsed 
fishing lodge, catering to serious fly-fishing clientele. 
The resort was renamed Three Rivers Ranch, and ex- 
pert guides were hired to teach the new trend in catch- 
and-release fly fishing. 

Marys ville 

The town of Marysville, Ashton's older sister, had its 
beginning in May 1889 when Horace Weaver, his half- 
brother Frank, and his cousin Gibson came through the 
upper Snake River valley. Later that summer another 
cousin, Mary Weaver Baker, and her husband, Joseph 
Baker, came and filed on a quarter section of land with 
a spring on it, now known as Baker Spring, about a mile 
north of present-day Ashton. They homesteaded there 
and used a wagon box for their bedroom and a lean-to 
as their kitchen until they could build their two-room 
log cabin. Joe's brothers hauled the logs from the Green- 
timber area. Thomas William Whittle settled nearby. 


Marysville, looking southeast, about 1915. The grain elevator on the right is alongside the railroad tracks to Driggs that were completed in 1912, 
so this photo is no earlier than that date. Much of the horizon on the right half of the photo appears to be aspens that are certainly not there 
today. It is said that a vast stand of aspens (perhaps one of the world's largest) once covered the area east ofAshton to the foot of the Teton Range. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

Ed McGavin and Asa Hendricks filed on two quar- 
ter sections to the south of Joseph Baker with two sec- 
tions of school land adjoining them to the south. Parts 
of these sections later became part of Ashton in 1906. 

Mary Baker was the first postmaster, but when 
Marysville was organized two miles to the east, she 
transferred the post office there. John L. Dorcheus and 
his wife, Mary, built the Lodi Post Office on his ranch at 
Dorcheus Springs about a mile north of Ashton. 

In the 1890s, other families began to arrive, and 
Bishop James Henry Wilson and David Weatherbee 
each deeded 80 acres to the Marysville town site to 
entice immigrants to settle there. The community was 
known as Springville when Idaho achieved statehood 
in 1890, but the postal authorities said there were too 
many communities with that name, and since there 
were five ladies named Mary living there, one of which 
was Postmaster Mary Baker, they chose the name of 
Marysville. When the post office was moved to Ashton, 
Marysville became Rural Route #2. 

The first house was built by Tom Gooch, who was a 
notary public. Annie Gooch, his wife, became the post- 
master following Mary Baker. Barbara Hardy taught 
children in her home, a tuition school, in 1890, until 
a one-room log schoolhouse could be built. The brick 
schoolhouse in Marysville was built in 1913. 

The Marysville LDS church was organized in Novem- 
ber 1891. The first church building was finished in 1892, 

with James Henry Wilson installed as presiding elder 
in May 1893. The first meetinghouse was built of logs 
in 1893 and replaced by another in 1899. The Marys- 
ville Branch was officially organized in March 1902 
with Hyrum Larson as presiding elder. It was made the 
Marysville Ward on June 28, 1903, with Parley Cutler as 

The first mail was delivered by Morris Sprague using 
a dog sled that first winter. George White Sr. carried the 
mail from Chester up the old Fall River road to Farnum, 
Lillian, and Squirrel before the Oregon Short Line sired 
Drummond. In the spring of 1889, Mary Baker snow- 
shoed from her home at Baker Springs to act as midwife 
at the birth of twins, Mary and Marian Whittle. There 
were no doctors north of Rexburg until 1902. 

M. M. Hammond and Joseph Smith Hendricks built 
the first sawmill in the Ashton area in 1892 at the 
confluence of Warm River and the Snake River. Fred 
Hoffman and Will Cordingley operated the first well- 
drilling outfit. The Brady Canal, named for Governor 
Brady, who helped greatly in the settling of Marysville, 
was changed to the Marysville Canal and Irrigation Co. 
in 1904, when Brady sold his interest in it. Along with 
the Farmer's Own Ditch Co., it is still serving the com- 

Dr. Young opened his drug store in 1902. The of- 
ficial date of incorporation of Marysville was January 
15, 1904, on a petition signed by R. W Hardy and 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

others. At that time there were about 30 business build- 
ings, including Home Banker, Tithing Office, Town 
Well, Reynolds Hotel, Post Office, Lime Harris Black- 
smith Shop, Kelly's Hotel (Mrs. J. Kelley, prop.), Oscar 
Green Saloon, Blacksmith Shop, Barber Shop, Kelly's 
Livery Barn, Louis Shaw Blacksmith Shop, Relief So- 
ciety Grainery City Jail, McNair's Blacksmith Shop, 
Hendricks Livery Barn, Reynolds Butcher Shop, Ed 
Shettler's Bank, Hessman Lumber Co., William Barrett 
Mercantile, Farmer's Equity, Frank Britton Store, Cash 
Racket Jim and Bill Leeper's Store, Brig Nelson Saloon, 
Clyde Lucas #2 Residence Store, Frank Britton Imple- 
ment, William Winigar Butcher Shop, and Mrs. Richard 
Brower's Millinery Shop. John Hendricks opened a loan 
agency in Marysville in November 1904. By July 1906, 
there were also C. E. Lucas's general merchandise store; 
William Hobson, farrier; and Sam Nelson Buffet. In May 
1906, Baker's Livery started a stage line from Ashton to 
Marysville. Otto Johnson ran a dray wagon from the 
railway station delivering freight to all the stores. Mat 
Fuller was the Marysville depot agent. J. H. Egbert re- 
signed as marshal of Marysville, and S. C. Drollinger 
took his place, in May 1905. 

An early photo shows a marching band ready for 
the July 4, 1905, parade. The musicians included Di- 
mond Loosli and Milt Humphries, with Theo. France 
as Uncle Sam. The largest population of Marysville was 
in 1904-1905 with approximately 101 families. There 

was always plenty of entertainment, with Saturday be- 
ing a day for horse races, baseball games, and dances 
at Sheppard Hall in the evening. 

Work on the bridge at Wilson ford, to be known as 
the Marysville Bridge, was begun by Grant Hopkins in 
January 1905 with rock rip-rap. It. was finished in con- 
crete in July 1906. It was built in three sections, but 
in 1947 one section caved in and was carried away by 
the spring run- off. Dennis and Paul Gifford were there 
shortly after it was demolished. In 1905, it was the main 
road to West Yellowstone by way of Hatchery Ford and 
the Osborne Bridge. 

It was originally planned for the town of Marysville, 
1.7 miles to the east of Ashton, to be the railroad center, 
but it is reported that the farmers in Marysville asked 
too much money for their land, and that there was a dis- 
pute with the Marysville bishop concerning the route 
of the lines through his land. In December 1905, offi- 
cials of the Oregon Short Line Railroad came from Salt 
Lake City, visited the area, and settled on the townsite 
of Ashton for the location of the depot and the yards. 

A poem written by Abner Widdison shortly after Ashton 
became a town, and widely circulated at the time, said: 

Marysville was Marysville 
When Ashton was a pup, 
But Ashton will be Ashton 
When Marysville's gobbled up. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

There was a tremendous rivalry between the two towns, so 
Marysville's version was: 

Marysville's an old dog; 
Ashton'sjust a pup. 
Marysville will be an old town 
When Ashton's gobbled up. 

On March 18, 1904, Marysville trustees passed a law closing 
saloons on Sunday and compelling drug stores to require a 
written excuse to sell wine and whiskey on Sunday. 

An ad in the November 1905 Marysville Mirror read, "Property 
is going up, now is the time to buy." The newspaper was 
bought out in 1906, and its equipment moved to Ashton. 

The Chester boll team came to Marysville April 20, 1905, but 
was easy prey for the Invincibles. The free dance was paid for 
by the Chesterites. The Lodi team came up that Saturday, but 
a good game failed to materialize. 

The Nedrows, who were Methodists, helped get the post office 
in Marysville, because, under Idaho law, Mormons were not 
considered citizens and could not sign on application. 


Elmo Lamont homesteaded the land that, except 
for the grant from Conrad Lenz, became the village of 
Drummond. The town was to have been named La- 
mont for the Lamont family who first settled there, but 
Drummond, the railroad engineer who surveyed the 
line there, decided to name it after himself and call the 
next town Lamont. Mrs. Margaret Painter was the first 
citizen of Drummond. The 1900 census showed 15 resi- 

The first post office was established in October 1911, 
with Mary Conlin as postmaster. The first mail carrier 
was Phoebe Saunders White Swanner. She made a loop 
three times a week from Ashton to Drummond and on 
to deliver mail to Squirrel, where Charlie Burrell owned 
the store and post office, and on to Fall River, where 
Silas Green owned the Farnum Store and post office. 
She was succeeded by Hazen Hawkes, who carried the 
mail for 18 years, except for an interim 8 years when it 
was delivered by Conrad Lenz. 

The Foster Lumber Co. was located there in 1913, 
with James "Monte" Painter working there. He was also 
the first janitor of the school and was mayor for several 
years until 1947. 

The settlement was incorporated as the Village of 
Drummond in January 1917, with L. A. Lamont, C. N. 
Dedman, H. L. Benson, F. K. Wallin, V. E. Bailey, and 
R. J. Little as trustees. This led to the ultimate demise 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

of the other small communities in the area. The date 
on the three-story schoolhouse was 1913. Some years 
the enrollment exceeded 200. Among the early teach- 
ers were Mr. Catrin, Mr. Cowles, Mr. Caulderhead, Mrs. 
Pete Madsen, Alice Hannawalt Simmerley Freida Isen- 
berg, and Mrs. Steve Meikle. The school at Green Hill, 
five miles to the south, and Lillian, a few miles to the 
west, were later incorporated into the Drummond dis- 

The first business license was issued in October 1917 
to V E. Bailey for a general merchandise store, the sec- 
ond to the St. Anthony Flour Mill, and the third to the 
Spalsbury Implement Company. Other licenses issued 
in 1918 were to Burrall & Co., Sperry Grain Co., L. O. An- 
derson, Miller Bros., E. S. Judd, National Park Lumber 
Co., and a pool hall. In 1956, L. B. Lindsley advertised 
paint for sale in Drummond. In 1921, Monte worked in 
the Sperry Division of General Mills as elevator man- 
ager at Drummond. 

A bond election in 1917 authorized the drilling of 
a well and installation of a water system. In 1919, an- 
other successful bond election, held at the Presbyte- 
rian Church, authorized the enlargement of the water 
system. The ladies of Drummond organized a "Ladies 

Green Hill 

Green Hill was a small community about two miles 
south of Drummond and had its own school, located 
near the Teton River, for several years. The building was 
also used as a community center and a church. In 1910, 
Joseph Young was the teacher. The school district con- 
solidated with Drummond in 1913. 

The residents of Green Hill built the first telephone 
system in the entire Ashton area. Known as "the 
Farmer's Line," it was extended into Lillian about 1912 
and connected to the line from Ashton in 1915. 


The Sheetz school was located on the reclamation 
road. The D. H. Kelly family was instrumental in having 
the one-room school building built there. Mrs. Duke 
was the first teacher there, in 1920. 


The settlement of Farnum was named for Rosamond 
Farnum Sprague Green, the mother of Silas Green, the 
first postmaster, who settled just downstream from the 
confluence of Conant Creek and Fall River. This was 
also the location of the Farnum store and post office 
built in 1897. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

Katie Murdoch on the family farm inFarnum, about 1930, looking 
embarrassed because her brothers have dressed her in boys' clothes. 

The Farnum Branch of the LDS church was orga- 
nized in 1897, with James Green as presiding elder. Res- 
idents went to Marysville to church when possible by 
fording the river at what is now Anderson's Bridge. A 
small log school building was erected in 1899. Church 
was held there until a church house was built in 1909. 

The Farnum school district was formed in 1900. The 
first teacher in Farnum was Mae Hawkes. A new rock 
school was built in 1909. In 1911, another room was 
added by Hugh Davis, and two teachers were hired. 


Grainville, the location of some grain elevators on 
the railroad a few miles west of Squirrel, was named for 
the acres of prolific grain in the area. There was a one- 
room school house where Kate Thomas Lamont taught. 
Art Anderson's father settled in the area around 1910, 
and Art's Aspen Acres Golf Course was ultimately built 


Greentimber, a small community eight miles east 
of Ashton, was first known as Green Timber because 
of the lush grasses and quaking aspens in the area. It 
includes the area north of Fall River, south of Robin- 
son Creek, east of the Hugginsville district, and west 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

of the Targhee National Forest. Ferdinand Kramer, the 
first settler, arrived in October 1896 and built a cabin 
near the confluence of Porcupine and Rock Creeks. He 
left for two years but returned in 1898 with his father, 
Henry. In 1899, Fred Kramer and Henry Oastman filed 
on water from Fall River for the Greentimber Canal, but 
in 1901 they transferred it to the Yellowstone Canal Co. 

School was held in 1903 and 1904 in the Reimann 
home with Pearl Fisher as the teacher, as were Lutheran 
Church services with Carl Lindsley as minister. The 
school district was organized in 1905. The schoolhouse 
was built in 1906 with lumber hauled from the ranger 
station by soldiers, and school started in 1907. The 
schoolhouse still stands, owned by Fremont County 
School District, but the ground it sits on is owned by 
Marilyn Corcilius. The 300-pound bell that was origi- 
nally installed on the schoolhouse was stolen in 1970 
but returned three years later, only to be stolen again 
in 2004 and never recovered. 

The first postmaster was Fred Hossner, in his home, 
with mail delivered from Ashton. The first road grader, 
pulled by eight head of horses, went up the Greentim- 
ber road in 1903 as far as the site of the schoolhouse. 
The state of Idaho took over maintenance and con- 
struction of the road to Cave Falls in 1933. The first tele- 
phone line was constructed in 1909, and the first elec- 
tricity came in 1938. 

In June 1935, Lucille Grube, Evelyn Grube, Neola 

Vik, Madison Reimann, Elsie Howell, Florence Hall, and 
Goldie Zitting started the Greentimber Goodfellowship 
Club, meeting in their homes until 1937, when they be- 
gan meeting in the schoolhouse once a month, inviting 
their husbands to come and play pinochle. The men 
later started the Greentimber Garden Club, which was 
a cover for their poker games. 

Many new homes have been built in the area during 
the past few years by people who say "We're here be- 
cause we love the scenery and love the isolation in this 
beautiful country." 

Early in Greentimber's history, one abused woman reported 
that her husband had committed suicide. The fact that the 
wound was obviously in his back seemed to go unnoticed, 
and an official investigation was never held. 

In 1936, Alvin Matthews visited his old friend, Jim Hoy, a 
bootlegger, who lived in a remote cabin on Porcupine Creek, 
to buy some moonshine, but he was refused because he 
supposedly owed for previous drinks. Matthews had his rifle 
and promptly shot Hoy, then spent the night "dead drunk" in 
the cabin. The next day he was arrested and confined to the 
jail in St. Anthony, but after a few days he committed suicide 
by jumping off the upper Punk onto his head after telling a 
fellow inmate, "I know I'm guilty, and I don't want my 
grandchildren to go through my trial," Both men are buried in 
Pineview Cemetery, 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

It took early settlers Henry Kramer and his son Ferdinand a full 
week using a block and tackle to get their wagon over the 
Teton Pass. 

1910. Her family boarded the linemen but couldn't afford a 
telephone. They didn't have indoor plumbing or electricity, 
but they did have a big raspberry and gooseberry patch. 

If you haven't played Greentimber Stud, you just haven't 
played real poker. 


Svea Falls held their first school with about eight chil- 
dren in the summer of 1906 in the Dan Kirkham home. 
This school was later called Hugginsville because of the 
John Huggins family, who homesteaded just south and 
west of the corner in 1898, and the area has generally 
been known as Hugginsville ever since. Maude Hillman 
was the first teacher. In the fall of 1906, a log school- 
house was built and later sided with lumber. About 
1912 it burned, and a new one-room frame school was 
built. It had a cloakroom, was heated by a wood stove, 
and was used as a community center as well. A dance 
was held every Friday night. The school was closed in 
1945 and consolidated with the other districts in 1948. 

Mrs. Ethel Huggins Reed said the first telephone line came in 


Franz was and still is a railroad siding for the load- 
ing and shipping of grain. It was named for the first 
homesteaders, Bob and Max Franz. When World War 
I started, the name of Franz had a bad German conno- 
tation, so the name was changed to France. 

There was a one-room schoolhouse with a teacher 
who lived in a nearby teacherage. The story is told that 
once when she went to the outhouse, a bobcat tried to 
get in with her. She was terrified and stayed inside until 
a student came along and told her the bobcat was gone. 

Horseshoe Flats, a settlement south of Franz, was 
first homesteaded by O. L. Packer. Work on the Conant 
Creek Canal was started there in 1896. It was reported 
that there were herds of elk, deer, and antelope there at 
that time. 


The settlement of Lillian was located between Far- 
num and Drummond. This small town was named for 
Lillian Newby, who served as the first postmaster. The 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

town had a post office, a store, and a school with as 
many as 35 students. 

The morning after one Halloween, Henry Bratt's buggy was 
found on top of the Lillian schoolhouse. It took three days to 
dismantle the buggy and lower it to the ground while the 
volunteers wondered how the perpetrators got it up there in 
one night. 


John L. Dorcheus, Ed Dorcheus' father, at Dorcheus 
Springs, established Lodi in 1893, about a mile north 
and a quarter-mile west of what would become the 
townsite of Ashton, when he bought the Shepard home- 
stead. A four-room school and a post office were built, 
with Mary Dorcheus, Ed's daughter, as postmaster. Mail 
was delivered from Market Lake to St. Anthony in 1906 
and then on to Lodi. Mr. Shepard taught at Lodi in the 
winter and Sarilda in the summer. In February 1906, 
the school district of Harris petitioned to be consoli- 
dated with the nearby Lodi district and build the Union 
School at Ashton. 


Symington Allen Nedrow and his wife, Sarah, came 
in 1890, the first to settle in that area. He filed on the 
water rights of all the springs in Snow Creek in 1892. 
Marion Joseph Kerr was the first postmaster, with the 
post office in his home. Ora was named after Mrs. Kerr. 

George Kent had the contract to carry mail from St. 
Anthony to Ora and on to Rice, now known as Upper 
Sand Creek. The community of Rice, five miles west of 
Ora, was settled earlier because of the lush meadows. 
Summer school was held for three months every sum- 
mer at Sarilda. The first schoolhouse was built in 1894 
just southwest of the Ora Cemetery, but the two-room 
schoolhouse on the Kerr place was not built until 1905. 
In April 1905, the pupils celebrated Arbor Day by plant- 
ing trees, shrubs, and flowers. Fred Hunnlent took over 
the school in 1908. 

The Ora community was settled by early pioneers 
of the area and consisted of several homes along the 
main street. It later boasted a two-room schoolhouse, 
an LDS church built in 1892 (with Hyrum Wilson as 
presiding elder), and the church tithing granary, cel- 
lar, and platform scale, which were used for weighing 
produce for both church and public service. Marion 
Joseph Kerr was one of the early homesteaders and de- 
velopers of the community. Under his leadership, the 
Ora church house was completed and dedicated in 
1906 on a lot across the road from his home in Ora. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

The Ora schoolhouse and the Kerr home and barn were 
later destroyed by fire, but the Ora church was still 
standing in the late 1980s. The year "1906" was posted 
on the front gable. At that time there were nineteen ac- 
tive member families, with a membership roll of 133 

The Arcadia LDS branch was organized in 1895 near 
Ora. Marion Joseph Kerr was presiding elder. The Ora 
Ward was located west of the river, four and a half miles 
straight west of Ashton. Fred C. Porter was clerk of the 
Arcadia Canal Co. 


In 1888, Samuel Suver Sadoris and his wife, Sarilda, 
established their family near the sand dunes on Spring 
Creek and established an irrigation system there. His 
grandson, Sam Moon, was a longtime resident there 
with his extended family. When the application for a 
name for the community was sent to the postal depart- 
ment, one of the signers was Sarilda Sadoris, and al- 
though Sadoris was requested for the name of the com- 
munity, it was assigned — probably through a clerk's 
error — the name of Sarilda. 

The first school in the Ora Sarilda area was held in 
the Sadoris' living room, taught by Lena Moon. Irene 
Stone deStwolinski taught school at Sarilda in 1906. 

The main freighting road and the main route to West 
Yellowstone at that time was the Sadoris Hill Road. To 

the east was the Ora Hill Road, a parallel route that was 
also used. The two roads met north of Big Bend Ridge 
near Elk Wallow Well. Since there was no bridge across 
the Snake River at that time, the Hill Ford, which is now 
under the backwaters of the Ashton Reservoir, was used 
to go from Ora and Sarilda to the Ashton area. 

Tom McMinn was a neighbor who helped survey the 
canals and build the dams on Spring Creek and the 
dams to make fish ponds. Sadoris wanted people to 
stop at his place and change horses. He raised a large 
garden and sold the produce at West Yellowstone. 

The Ora area was originally used as a cattle-holding 
ground by cattlemen from southern Idaho. There was 
a line camp at the foot of Big Bend Ridge between the 
dunes and the river where it was easy to sort, mark, and 
divide the cattle in the spring and fall. 


The first settler in the Vernon area was Symington 
A. Nedrow (in 1892), whose children were Salome, Jim, 
Dick, Al, George, Paul, Etta, Lucy, Lulu, and Ruby. He 
settled on the north side of the river, but Vernon was 
actually on the south side. He brought scrapers and 30 
head of mules and worked on the water works of Eagle 

Millie Ricks Olsen, who was married in Marysville 
to John P. Olsen on April 3, 1893, lived in Vernon and 
worked for Dave Nelson, who had a dairy at Black 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

Springs. Nelson Dairy furnished employment for many 

Early residents took wagons into the Bechler Mead- 
ows, cut the wild hay and hauled it back to Vernon. The 
Nedrows maintained a commercial campground. 

Sarah Nedrow helped organize the first church in 
the area with regular services being held. A Methodist 
church building, begun in 1892 with planed lumber 
hauled by team and wagon from the Arangee Mill in 
Island Park, was finished in 1898. This church building 
later became the Vernon Schoolhouse and had 30 stu- 
dents. Before that, the Vernon school was just east of 
the church. The Vernon schoolhouse, a brick building, 
was built in 1900 by Perham and Harris. They some- 
times had their own minister but sometimes shared a 
minister with the Ashton Methodist Church. The first 
minister in the new church was Harley J. Adams, who 
rode a horse from St. Anthony to teach. One inexperi- 
enced minister on an inexperienced horse attempted 
to cross the river in the wrong place and was drowned. 

There was a cemetery in Vernon, but most of the 
headstones were later bulldozed up against the fence, 
and the ground was then plowed over. 

Three different years there were cricket infestations, 
and everyone turned out to keep them from crossing 
the new Fritz Bridge, now named the Vernon Bridge. It 
was difficult, but they were successful. 

The Ashton Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of 

Latter-day Saints was organized in March 1902, with 
Hyrum Larson as presiding elder. It was made the Ver- 
non Ward on June 28, 1903, with Parley Cutler as bishop. 
In the autumn of 1903, the brethren got out logs, had 
them sawed, and erected a log and frame building 
about one and a half miles south and one mile west of 
the Ashton town site for the Vernon Ward chapel. While 
that building was under construction, all church ser- 
vices were held in the home of Brother Abraham Davis. 
In the winter of 1904, Bishop Cutler died and was re- 
placed by Samuel Parley Egbert, who served until 1907, 
when the Vernon Ward was combined with the Ashton 
Ward and the old Vernon church building was moved 
into Ashton, placed on church property, and used as an 
amusement hall. 

Sand Dunes 

The border of the tillable land west of Ashton is 
marked by the Sand Dunes west of Sarilda. The sand 
dunes, shifting, restless, never still, are haunted by 
winds that moan strangely at times. Long ago, when the 
Bannocks were a powerful tribe, the Blackfeet warred 
upon them, and Indian legend says these wars led 
to the creation of the sand dunes. There were many 
battles, and so bloody were they that the legends say 
the spirits that watched over the Indians tired of the 
senseless slaughter. A warning came — how or when the 
Indian doesn't know — but the Bannocks and their allies 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

obeyed the spirits. They gave up the land of the buf- 
falo, the rich valleys, the clear sparkling streams where 
the fish leaped. But their women no longer keened in 
mourning nor chopped off one finger joint after an- 
other as their men fell never to rise. The children did 
not go fatherless. 

But this retreat did not satisfy the Blackfoot. Perhaps 
the message from the spirits never reached them — or 
perhaps they knew only the evil spirits the mountain 
men claimed they personified. At any rate, they took 
the retreat of the Bannocks from their excellent hunt- 
ing grounds as a sign of weakness and pursued them 
more viciously than ever. Away from the buffalo, be- 
yond the best of the game, out of the last of the pleasant 
valleys and meadows, the Blackfoot pushed the Ban- 
nocks clear to the edge of the desert. Like others before 
and since, the Blackfoot took appeasement as a sign of 

And then — the Bannocks stopped retreating. They 
could take no more and retain any shred of dignity. 
Good spirits — evil spirits — come what may, the Black- 
foot had pushed them too far. Fiercely they turned on 
their enemy. It was a battle to have delighted a Roland 
or a Prince Valiant. And there was no doubt who was 
winning. The anger of the righteous seems to give a gun 
or a tomahawk extra power. The spirits — good? evil? No 
one knows. And the Indian never says. 

But the spirits were outraged. The winds came 

whistling down upon the embattled warriors. The 
squaws and the children and the old men staggered 
away from the dunes that began building up. Louder, 
stronger came the winds, with the shrieking of the spir- 
its in them. And the dunes swallowed up the warriors, 
good and bad, Bannock and Blackfoot, foe or friend, 
and never were any of them seen again. 

The tribes went rapidly downhill after that. The 
Blackfoot that were left were decimated by a small- 
pox epidemic, and their power was forever broken. The 
Bannocks wandered the dismal plains of the Snake 
River, poor in lodges and clothing, often without buf- 
falo, sometimes eating grasshoppers and crickets to 
survive. And out in the sand dunes one can find arrow- 
heads and occasionally a bone or two in the shifting 
sands. But no Indians. To this day they haven't forgot- 
ten what happened there. 


Squirrel, named for the flourishing ground squir- 
rels in the area, was created in 1900 but was first 
called Highland Ranch, with 2, 160 acres, started by four 
young men for a stock and grain operation. They found 
grass higher than the sagebrush and aspen groves as 
beautiful as a painting, but it was a real task to make the 
fertile ground available to plant crops. The only one of 
the four to stay was ranch manager William Campbell, 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

who was the first postmaster and was succeeded by Fe- 
lix Burgess in 1909. 

By 1905, the ranch had grown to 4,000 acres, with 
four hundred head of Hereford cattle and hundreds of 
Red Duroc hogs. The Orme Brothers bought it in 1910 
for $80,000. However, the first settler of the area was 
probably Elijah "Boat" Johnson and his wife Anna, who 
took up a ranch in Squirrel Meadows in 1897. A canal 
was begun at least as early as 1899 but not finished un- 
til 1905. 

The first store was built by Bill Wanke, but in 1903 
the merchandise was moved to the new building built 
by Howard Campbell, who later sold to Felix Burgess. 
The post office was in that same building, and the mail 
was carried for four years by Mrs. Phoebe Saunders 
White Swanner from St. Anthony to Farnum, Lillian, 
and on to Squirrel. The route was taken over by Hazen 
Hawkes, who delivered for eighteen years except for an 
eight-year interim break, when the mail was delivered 
by Conrad Lenz. 

Charles Burrall bought the store in 1909 and then 
sold to Axel Johnson, who ran the store and was post- 
master for more than thirty years. Ax almost always 
had a pinochle game going in the back and had the 
first radio for everyone to listen to. He sold to Floyd 
and Aimee Griffel in 1950. The post office was closed 
in 1979, but the store was kept open for several years. It 

was a polling place for the Squirrel Voting Precinct until 

The Highland School was erected in the dry-farm 
area with two outhouses. One teacher handled all eight 
grades and lived in a cottage nearby. Hazel Scott taught 
in 1920. The first school at Squirrel was a log building 
constructed by Jens Morton "Mort" Anderson. It was 
replaced by a two-room building in 1916 and closed in 
1950. In 1904, there were 54 students. Bad weather in 
winter made it so difficult to hold school that the school 
year was from April to November, with a four-month 
winter vacation. 

Lutheran church services were first held in 1901, and 
a Lutheran church was built in 1907. LDS services were 
first held in the Highland school. 

Carl C. "Kelsey" Lenz donated land two miles north 
of Squirrel Corners on the Reclamation Road in 1906 
for a cemetery. It was first called the Zion Lutheran 
Cemetery but is now known as the Squirrel Cemetery. It 
is fenced, has a well and sprinkling system, and is still 
well kept. 

Local men built the Squirrel Hall in 1917. It had a 
light plant, two stoves to keep it warm, and has always 
been a community center with dances, pinochle par- 
ties, and family gatherings. It was renovated in 1969 
with insulation, a new tin roof and siding, and win- 
dow coverings. Squirrel had a baseball team, a band, a 
Grange, and a Ladies Friendship Club. 


Neighboring Areas and Communities 

The Kunrath family homesteaded near the forest on 
the location that is now Squirrel Creek Resort. 

Arthur Conant homesteaded in 1908. While he was hauling 
firewood, his load tipped over and pinned him underneath, 
He was unable to free himself and froze to death in the creek 
that now bears his name. 

About 1960, Schlitz Brewing Co. brought their crew and filmed 
a commercial on the front porch of the vacant Harrigfeld 
home across the street south of Aspen Acres Golf Course. Hal 
Harrigfeld, who was a major producer of malting barley, sat on 
the porch and passed a Schlitz beer to someone else. He was 
assisted by Herman Marotz, Kurt Kandler, Clen Atchley, and 
David Reinke. The locals helping were unhappy because the 
Schlitz people then poured the beer on the ground instead of 
letting them drink it. 


Chapter 8 

Distinguished Citizens 

There have been many famous and notable people 
who have called Ashton their home. This is to honor 
them. They're listed in no particular order, but some of 
the earlier residents are listed first. We have undoubt- 
edly omitted some who should be listed here, and to 
them, we sincerely apologize. 

Charles C. Moore, born in 1866, was one of the 
founders of Ashton, was a schoolteacher, was elected 
to the State Legislature in 1903 and 1905, was elected 
lieutenant governor for two terms, and was governor of 
Idaho from 1922 until 1927. He served for four years as 
President Hoover's appointee as commissioner of the 
General Land Office in Washington, D.C. He died in 

Hiram G. "Fess" Fuller, one of the founders of Ash- 

ton, was a schoolteacher, a state senator in 1915, the 
mayor of Ashton for several years, and held many other 
prominent positions until his death in 1954. In those 
days, if you were a lawyer you were called Judge; if you'd 
ever been in the army, you were Cap'n or Major; and if 
you were a schoolteacher you were called Professor. In 
the case of Professor H. G. Fuller, it was shortened to 

James H. Brady was instrumental in starting the 
Brady Canal, which later became the Marysvale (Marys- 
ville) Canal and Improvement Co., Ltd. He was elected 
governor of Idaho in 1908. 

Oliver P. "Bronc" Sparkman, born in 1866, descen- 
dant from the Cherokee Indian Nation, was an early 
law officer in Ashton, a real cowboy wearhing a high- 


Distinguished Citizens 

crowned western hat and carrying a six-shooter on his 
hip as he rode his horse down Main Street. Bronc was 
marshall of Ashton in 1909. He was such a recognizable 
figure that he was asked by FOX Film Company in 1930 
to go to Hollywood to make a movie portraying a west- 
ern sheriff. They referred to him as "our movie sheriff." 
Whether or not Bronc actually made the movie is ques- 
tionable. He found Hollywood "too glamorous" and re- 
turned to Ashton. He was Fremont County Sheriff from 
1921 until 1926. He was elected constable of Ashton in 
November 1930 but was probably Ashton's marshall in 
1927. He died in 1936. 

S. "Sam" Trude was an eminent Chicago lawyer who 
became a Fremont County justice of the peace. The 
story is told that when the game warden brought two 
fishermen who had exceeded their limits before Judge 
Trude, he fined them each $25. A month or so later, the 
same two were brought in again, and the judge fined 
them $50 each and cautioned them that they must quit 
poaching. Another month or so later, they were back, 
asking the judge how much it was that time, and that 
they had it right in their wallets. The judge responded, 
"You mean to tell me that you have 30 days in there?" 

Mayor H. G. Fuller crowning the Dog Derby Queen in 1925. 


Distinguished Citizens 

William Otis "Ott" Harris, a veteran of World War I, 
was a prominent businessman and community leader, 
owner of the famous "Ott's Place," and was mayor of 
Ashton for two terms. 

Tud Kent was a multi-year winner of the Ashton 
American Dog Derby, placing first in six events. He 
was the winner in 1917, 1919, 1921, 1922, 1925, and 
1928. He was the original lessee of what would become 
Pond's Lodge in Island Park in 1925. At one time, he op- 
erated a hamburger joint in Ashton. 

Dimond "Dime" Loosli served as state representa- 
tive in 1931 and state senator in 1923. 

Dick Vasac, longtime citizen and philanthropist of 
Ashton, was born Richard Waschak March 29, 1900, in 
Vienna, Austria. He was trained as a restaurateur and, 
after losing his father in 1915 and his mother in 1917, 
he immigrated to the United States in 1920. In 1921, 
he answered an ad and moved to Squirrel to work for 
Harrigfelds. He never married but worked hard and ac- 
quired his own farm. At the time of his death on Febru- 
ary 1, 1986, he left a sizeable trust fund to be distributed 
over the years as needed by the citizens of Ashton. 

Dr. Ed Hargis, just out of medical school in the east 
in 1906, was on his way to the west coast when he 
stopped in St. Anthony and it was suggested that he 
take "a brief visit to the new town of Ashton," as he put 
it. He became Ashton's first doctor and stayed for many 
years. At one time his office was in the Odd Fellows 

building. His shingle read "Dr. E. L. Hargis, Physician; 
The Ashton Sanitarium, Dr. E. L. Hargis, Prop." 

Calvin Harmon Smith was born April 13, 1912, in 
Marysville, Idaho. His first professional fight was in 
1931 at the American Dog Derby, and he went on to 
win the professional heavyweight championship of the 
Intermountain States in 1939, holding that position for 
many years through about 160 fights. He also served as 
Fremont County sheriff. He was once featured in the 
magazine True Detective. 

Dr. A. A. Krueger was the best-known doctor of Ash- 
ton, beloved by all, and was instrumental in building 
the Ashton Memorial Hospital. 

An idea of how Dr. Krueger was able to keep the hospital in 
operation is the account of an occasion after his death but 
before the clinic was built, when an elderly lady came into 
the hospital and asked that she be admitted "because Dr. 
Krueger always puts me in the hospital for two weeks when I 
get back from Arizona." 

Born July 15, 1912, a citizen of Latvia (one of the 
Balkan States) and educated in Italy, Dr. Krueger first 
arrived in Ashton with his wife, Margaret, December 1, 
1940. They rented living quarters and office space in 
the Neifert Hotel, and he opened his practice there the 
next day. He became a citizen of the United States on 
August 27, 1942. He later used his home on the corner 


Distinguished Citizens 

of Fremont and Eight Streets as an office until Bob Bean 
purchased that building, removed the top floor, and re- 
modeled the rest into a funeral home. 

Dr. Krueger enlisted in the army during World War 
II and was stationed in Europe. After he returned from 
the service, he bought the Merrill home on the corner 
of Eighth Idaho Streets and for a few months saw pa- 
tients there. He remodeled a building on Main Street 
and began seeing patients there. 

Dr. Krueger made house calls, 

In 1948, the community rallied behind Dr. Krueger 
to raise money for a hospital building. Ashton Memo- 
rial Hospital was created as a nonprofit corporation. 
Fund raising and grants were responsible for paying for 
the building. The hospital opened with 10 acute-care 
beds and an emergency room and operating room. The 
first patient was admitted on April 10, 1950. In 1956, 
a pediatric ward was added, increasing the acute care 
beds to 20. In 1974, the final addition was a surgical 
suite that was required to meet state and federal re- 

Dr. Krueger was a pilot and tragically crashed his 
plane in a "white-out" snow storm on January 26, 1976. 
After Dr. Krueger's death, the hospital struggled finan- 

Dr. Krueger drove a little red sports car and often failed to 
follow all the driving rules. Whether he was rushing to an 
emergency or simply driving home, the police turned a Plind 
eye to his creative driving. 

Dr. Dan Hess, along with his wife, Dr. Mary, started 
the Hess Heritage Museum in 1982, a mile south of Ash- 
ton on the farm where Dan was raised, to preserve their 
pioneer heritage, the early history of the Upper Snake 
River Valley and the memory of all of those pioneers 
who played a major role in settling this part of the coun- 
try. Dan was a radarman petty officer first class in the 
Navy from 1944 until 1947, and he served as a major in 
the army as a chaplain from 1957 until his recent retire- 

Colonel Don Ghormley enlisted in the Army Air 
Corps in 1943 and then transferred to the Army Engi- 
neers. He served in Germany, came home and enlisted 
in the National Guard, and later served in Korea and 
Viet Nam. He was one of Ashton's most decorated vet- 
erans. He started blacksmithing with his uncle when 
he was twelve and continued throughout his life. When 
asked if he could fix something, his response was, "It's 
broke, ain't it?" A sign on the wall of his shop said, "La- 
bor $10 an hour, $20 if you watch, $30 if you help." 


Distinguished Citizens 

Keith Nyborg, an army veteran of the Korean Con- 
flict, filled a mission to Finland for his church, was 
a guide and interpreter for the United States Rowing 
Team at the Finnish Olympics, and was the U.S. Am- 
bassador to Finland for five years. He started the Am- 
bassador's Cup Foundation cross-country ski races. 

In 1948, General Leo Hammond started Ashton's 
first National Guard unit, the 116th Combat Engineers 
Company, as a captain in the army reserves. In June 
1950, the unit was called up for active duty, and he was 
sent to Fort Belvoir as a major to train troops until Jan- 
uary 1951, when the unit was deployed to Korea. About 
July 1951, he was transferred to the 73rd Combat Engi- 
neer Battalion as a lieutenant colonel. Then in March 
1952, he was transferred to the Fort Carson engineer 
group. He came home in 1952 and organized an engi- 
neer group in 1966 in Idaho Falls. He attended Com- 
mand Staff School and made the rank of general after 
24 years of service. He farmed for several years and 
bought and operated the Ashton Dry Cleaners. 

Lynn Loosli is a prominent rancher, farmer, and vet- 
eran living in Ashton. He served as Idaho state repre- 
sentative for six years and was a member of the presti- 
gious Committee of Nine in the Idaho Water Resources 

Portia Loosli, Lynn's wife and mother of nine chil- 
dren, was chosen Idaho's Mother of the Year in 1995 by 
the American Mothers, Inc. 

Stan Clark was also a member of the prestigious 
Committee of Nine in the Idaho Water Resources Com- 

James Harrell served in the Marine Corps in World 
War II, was a longtime insurance and real-estate agent, 
and was Ashton's mayor from 1971 to 1983. 

Glade Lyon was manager of Lyon's general merchan- 
dise store in Ashton for more than 42 years, was a reg- 
istered representative selling "penny stocks" for a Salt 
Lake City brokerage firm, was a real- estate salesman 
for more than twenty years, was a teacher at North Fre- 
mont High School for one year, wrote a book entitled 
Idaho's Medal of Honor Recipients and another, Our 
Flag Book (viewable, used as 
a text in the fifth grades of many elementary schools). 
He was an active member of the American Legion for 
more than 60 years, including five years on the Ameri- 
can Legion National Internal Affairs Commission. 

Calvin Wickham worked for Fall River Electric for 
42 years, serving as general manager his last 12 years 
there. During World War II, he fought on Iwo Jima and 
was awarded the Purple Heart for a major chest wound; 
he is featured in Steve Portella's book Heroes Among Us 
for this experience. For several years he was a leader in 
the Boy Scouts of America and the 4H. He was called 
to Washington, D.C., in 1979 to be recognized by the 
Carter Administration for his work in developing new 
sources of electrical power. In 1981 he was called to 


Distinguished Citizens 

testify before Congress regarding the WWPS (Washing- 
ton Water Power Service) bond default issue and the 
building of nuclear power plants in the Tri-Cities area 
of Washington state. Very community minded, he was 
active in the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, and the Amer- 
ican Legion. In his retirement years, he was responsible 
for the flowers planted on the corner coming into Ash- 

Alwyn Nedrow, colorful veteran of World War II, has 
been recognized in the Eastern Idaho Horseman's Hall 
of Fame. He has written articles that were published in 
Western Horseman magazine. He is currently working 
on his memoirs. 

Carol Bessey was a longtime editor of the Ashton 
Herald newspaper and wrote a book, Battle of the WAC, 
about her World War II experiences. 

Luella Baum was Idaho state president of the Amer- 
ican Legion Auxiliary and in 1947 was the instigator in 
starting the Girls State Program, of which she was a di- 
rector. She was very active in the Republican Party re- 
ceiving a plaque from District 7 Republican Party for 
her many years of dedicated service. She served more 
than four years as president of the Federated Republi- 
can Women of Idaho, along with many other such posi- 

Dick Powell moved to Ashton in 1982 and was 
followed a year later by his wife, Gayle. Gayle sold 
cinnamon rolls and other pastries to residents of Ash- 
ton and Island Park and was so successful that they 
opened a "Mrs. Powell's Cinnamon Rolls" store in the 
Grand Teton Mall in 1984. They ultimately had two 
company-owned stores and fifty franchisees. 

Jack M. Lyon served for many years as managing ed- 
itor of Deseret Book Company in Salt Lake City. He is 
the proprietor of the Editorium, a small software com- 
pany, and is the author or compiler of several books, in- 
cluding Managing the Obvious. He also owns a publish- 
ing business, Waking Lion Press, which produced this 

Joanie Nyborg was chosen Mrs. Idaho 1982-1983. 
She was the wife of Bruce Nyborg and daughter-in-law 
of Keith Nyborg, United States Ambassador to Finland, 
and his wife Raija. In April 1983, she represented Idaho 
and Ricks College at the Mrs. U.SA. Pageant in Las Ve- 
gas, Nevada. 

Ryan Hamilton was the winner of the Sierra 
Mist/ Pepsi Cola national contest to choose "America's 
Next Great Comic." 


Photo Gallery 

This set of two RPPC (Real Photo Post Cards) show a view ofAshtonfrom the west about 191 0, not far from where Highway US-20 is today. The 
two cards can be put together to form a panoramic view. The two have several buildings numbered on the photo side (here removed), and there 
are descriptions on the postcard side. 


Starting from left to right (south to north) on both pages in this spread, we see the U.S. Reclamation Service (long, dark building), train cars, the 
city water tower, a grain elevator, the bank and the hotel (both brick buildings), various buildings, grain elevators, the lumberyard, the 
red-brick church (with pointed tower), houses and other buildings, and the railroad station (long building). 


Fishing expedition, about 191 0. Handwriting on the photo side of this RPPC (Real Photo Post Card) reads, "94 Trout, Snake River Idaho." The 
lodgepole pines and general nature of the background may place the photo in Island Park. 


Stripped-down Model-T Fords ready to race, about 1912. Mr. Paul Stone was a business owner in Ashton for several years. This photo was 
purchased by the Wickham family in the 1960s at Mr. Stone's estate auction as part of a trunk full of papers, letters, and photos. The photo is 
probably from about 1912, based on the Model-T Fords, which would have been new enough at the time to draw special attention. Also, some 
buildings with pitched roofs next to the Wilson Hotel are replaced in a well-dated photo of 1916, indicating that this photo is earlier than 1916. 


Train depot, about 1925. This photo was obviously taken on the same day as the photo on page 56, as some of the people in the photos are the 
same. These photos are difficult to date, but judging from the clothing and the truck, the time must be the 1 920s. 


Steam locomotive, 1953. A Union Pacific note reads, "3131 4-6-2 (Alco) at station with NB passenger train #31 (1 coach, 1 baggage car) from 
Idaho Falls. Ashton, Idaho, July 11, 1953." Note the "W. C. Fields" smoke stack. 



Billy Waugh and Carl Swanstrum in front of store (American Legion?). According to Bernetta Hanson, the photo dates to 1921. The bulding to 
the left is the Cannon Building. In later photos, the doorway seen at the back of the Cannon Building is bricked in, which is important in dating 


Gertie Williams in the store where she worked asayoung woman, probably the clothing store owned by Mr. Fried, in the building that later 
housed Chadwick's and Stoddard's. The photo can be dated to about 1925 because of the man's straw boater's hat, which went out of fashion 
later in the 1920s. The women's hats on the display case also appear to belong to the early to mid 1920s. 



1 / 

Crowds throng Main Street to watch the Dog Derby in 1935. 


Skiing at Bear Gulch, 1963: Janean Wickham, Beverly Kandler, Karen Daniels, Janet Cook. 


Ashton in winter as seen from up in the Ashton Milling & Elevator grain elevator that is on the west side of railroad tracks and on Main Street. 
The photo can be dated to about 1915, mostly because of the Hobart & Upham sporting- goods store visible in this photo and in other photos of 
this date. Both earlier and later, this building housed a business other than Hobart & Upham. 


Main Street at night (looking west), Christmas, about 1950. 


Main Street (looking east), about 191 7. View of a busy day on Main Street, looking east. Since the original Ashton Hotel is still standing, the 
photo must be prior to 1920. Considering the number of Model-T Fords and the fashions, the photo was probably taken between 1916 and 1919. 
This is the photograph used on the cover and the title page of this book. 


Main Street (looking east). The photo can be dated to 1 930 by the automobiles. Several appear to be Model- A Fords, which were not 
manufactured until the late 1920s and were not common until the early 1930s. This is the photograph used on pages 14 and 15 of this book. 


Main Street, 1936. 


Main Street, 1950. 




Turn Here Foi 
Lumber I 

• .'"' ' 

Previous page: Residents and visitors line Ashton's Main Street (looking east), waiting for the parade on July 4, 2006, during the city's centennial 
celebration. This photograph was taken by Suzanne Hamilton to coincide with the photograph used on the title page of this book. 


Thanks to those who contributed by sharing infor- 
mation, helping with their areas of expertise, or in any 
way, and especially: 

Clair Allison 
Jonie Amen 
Kathy Anderson 
Tim Andersen 
Emma Atchley 
Kendall Ballard 
Tyler Baum 
Bill Bessey 
Carol Bessey 
Dick Clark 
DeLane Cordingley 
Jane Daniels 
Christine Dexter 
Peggy Egbert 

Tressa Garrett 
Inez Garz 
Mary Gonzales 
Suzanne Hamilton 
Bernetta Hanson 
James Harrell 
Dick Heinz 
Dean Hossner 
Liz Hossner 
Tom Howell 
Garry Isaacs 
Linda Janssen 
Phyllis Jenkins 
Sheila Kellog 
Connie Kuehlwind 
Richard Laux 
Joyce Leonard 
Jack M. Lyon 



Katie Lyon 
Don Marotz 
Leon Martindale 
Tom Mattingly 
Dan Maupin 
Warren Moon 
Keith Nave 
Keith Nyborg 
Lorin Pence 
Weldon Reynolds 
Marva Rich 
Robin Rivas 
Linda Sheldon 
Susan Steinmann 
Bud Swanstrum 
Bud Trussell 
Thornton Waite 
Cal Wickham 

Special thanks to: 

Jane Daniels — Ashton Archives 

Lula Stone Heath 

Margerat Howe 

Selma Parkinson Isaacs 

Steven Isaacs 

Thomas Kirkham 

Julie Lewies 

Leonard Lewis 

Helen Reimann Marsden 

June Howell McCord 

David Rightenour 

Tom Stegelemier 

Max Stephens 

Thorton Waite — Yellowstone Branch of the Union 

Neal Wickham, who restored, provided, and wrote 
captions for most of the photographs in this book. 



Ambassador's Cup Sports Foundation, 86 

American Dog Derby, 86 

American Legion, 69 

American Legion Auxiliary, 70 

Archery, 78 

Ashton Public Library 91 

Ashton Regatta, 78 

Bear Gulch Ski Basin, 83 

Berean Baptist Church, 60 

Bowling, 78 

Buildings, landmark, 13 


along Highway 20, 44 

early, 10 

landmark, 13 

other, 36 

Canals, 3 

City park, 77 

Drummond, 106 

Electric power, 58 
Elevators, 42 

Fall River R. E. C, 59 
Farnum, 107 
Fishing, 81 

Founding of Ashton, 4 
Franz, 110 

Golf, 76 
Grainville, 108 
Green Hill, 107 
Greentimber, 108 

Highway 20, businesses along, 44 
Hugginsville, 110 


Hunting, 79 

Lady Lions, 71 
Law enforcement, 51 
LDS Church, 61 
Lillian, 110 
Lions Club, 71 
Lodi, 111 

Mail service, 54 
Marysville, 102 
Masonic Lodge, 71 
Mesa Falls, 80 
Methodist Church, 65 
Mexican laborers, 49 
Movies, 77 

Newspapers, 41 
North Main Street, 23 

Odd Fellows, 72 
Opera House, 75 
Ora, 111 

Potato industry, 46 

Railroad, 8 
Rotary Club, 71 

Sand Dunes, 113 


Sarilda, 112 
Sawmills, 97 
Schools, 91 

Seed potato industry, 46 
Service stations, 38 
Settlements, earliest, 2 
Sewer, 54 
Sheetz, 107 
Side streets, 35 
South Main Street, 13 
Squirrel, 114 
Streets, 53 
Study Club, 69 
Swimming pool, 77 

Targhee National Forest, 79 
Telephones, 57 
Tennis court, 77 
Transportation, 55 

Vernon, 112 

Veterans of Foreign Wars, 70 

Warm River, 99 
Warm River Resort, 100 
Water system, 52 
Weather, 50 

Zion Lutheran Church, 68 

Glade Lyon loved Ashton and contributed much to the community. 
He was manager of Lyon's general merchandise store there for more 
than 42 years, was a registered representative selling "penny stocks" 
for a Salt Lake City brokerage firm, was a real-estate salesman for 
more than twenty years, and was a teacher at North Fremont High 
School for one year. He was also a part owner in the Ashton IGA 
Store, the Ashton Theater, and other business interests, including 
Potpourri Ranch. He wrote and published three books, Idaho's 
Medal of Honor Recipients, Our Flag (viewable at and used as a text in the fifth grades of 

many elementary schools), and Ashton, Idaho: The Centennial 
History. During World War II, he served in the United States Army in 
Germany, France, and the Philippines and was part of the occupying 
U.S. forces in Japan. In 2001 he was given an official commendation 
by the government of France for his service there. A true patriot, he 
was an active member of the American Legion for more than 60 
years, including five years on the American Legion National Internal 
Affairs Commission. He enjoyed wearing red-, white-, and 
blue-striped socks to Ashton's annual Fourth of July parade. 

Copies of this book may be ordered online at or directly from the publisher: 

Book dealers and retail establishments may order this book wholesale at or by call- 
ing 866-308-6235. 

This book was designed, assembled, and typeset by Jack M. Lyon using the ETgK composition system. Headings are set in Copperplate Gothic, 
and the running text in Utopia. The printing was done by BookSurge in Charleston, South Carolina.